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Trademark Dilution

Trademark dilution is a trademark law concept for the owner of a famous trademark standing to prohibit others from using that mark in a way that would lessen its uniqueness. Mostly, trademark dilution involves an unauthorized use of another's trademark on products that do not participate with, and have little connection with, those of the trademark owner. Trademark Dilution is a basis of trademark infringement that only applies to famous marks. With non-famous marks, the owner of the mark should show that the allegedly infringing use creates a likelihood of confusion as to the source of the product or service being identified by the allegedly infringing use. With non-famous marks, it is highly unlikely a probability of confusion will be found if the products or services are in unrelated markets. However, with famous marks, any use by another person of the mark has the potential for confusion because a famous mark is so well-known among the consuming public that people will imagine association with the owner of the mark regardless of the product or service being sold under the infringing use.

What is Trademark Dilution

Several forms of intellectual property are protected under the law. One such form is a trademark, a word, phrase, or logo that is recognized by a company or entity as representing them. The purpose of a trademark is to distinguish companies and other entities from one another. However, it is possible that the uniqueness or the differentiation between trademarks is reduced, that is called trademark dilution. Generally, Trademark law is focused on the need for consumer protection. Accordingly, trademark law usually concerned itself with situations where an unauthorized party sold goods that are directly competitive with or at least related to those sold by the trademark owner. A trademark is diluted when the use of similar or identical trademarks in other non-competing markets means that the trademark in and of itself will lose its capacity to indicate a single source.