What exactly is trademark dilution?

| Apr 2, 2020 | Trademark Law

If you own a widely-recognized trademark, then the last thing that you’d probably want to happen is for it to be applied to products that don’t fit in with your standard offerings or ones that live up to the quality standards that you’ve set for your business. This could all decrease the value of your trademark and therefore Roseville company’s net worth. Trademark dilution is one of many factors that can cause this to happen.

Trademark dilution is a situation in which a well-known brand name and its associated marks are used on goods that don’t already belong to the company’s product line and that don’t compete with its other offerings. An example of this may be a dog leash. The manufacturer of that pet product may be prohibited from using a Corvette logo or other registered branding on it under existing trademark dilution laws.

Lawmakers have laws like this in place to protect the integrity and value of certain trademarks. Their affiliations could be easily blurred and reputation tarnished if there weren’t such legislation being in place.

Marks have to be widely recognized by the global public market including being instantly recognizable to gain protection under existing trademark dilution laws. The home goods store IKEA, soft drink company Coca-Cola, athletic wear giant Nike and electronics manufacturer Sony are all protected by this legislation.

Many countries including Japan, South Africa, the United States, Australia, India and Canada all have trademark dilution or similar legislation in place. Many South and Central American countries and European Union ones have such laws in effect as well.

Each jurisdiction has different standards that brands must meet to be allowed to file suit in court in their case. There are different penalties associated with someone violating such legislation in each country as well. A trademark law attorney can review the details surrounding the violation of your mark and help you decide whether it warrants filing a lawsuit here in California or some other jurisdiction.