What should you know about trademark dilution?

Peterson Watts Law Group, LLP

Business owners in California like you take your line of work very seriously, and reasonably so. When every little thing from your brand name to your choice of advertisement can impact your bottom line, managing your trademarks well can be a sink or swim situation.

In situations like this, it’s important to know about your legal rights as a trademark holder. For example, the Legal Information Institute defines trademark dilution, a harmful practice in which someone else could damage your brand by taking recognizable elements of your trademark to use as their own. This is usually done by creating a trademark that’s sufficiently similar to yours to possibly be confused by the general public. People do this in order to get around copyright infringement laws while also reaping the benefit of being associated with a powerful and successful brand.

Unfortunately, this is a negative two-way street. If this other company does poor business, it could reflect on your brand, too. Not to mention the fact that the singular, unique particularities of your brand could be jeopardized if there’s something similar being sold. This is known as tarnishment. Blurring is the other type of trademark dilution harm, which covers when your brand and another become difficult to distinguish from each other because of similarities.

As you would expect, this kind of issue in the marketplace can really sink your products. For that reason, there are protections in place that will allow you to protect your trademark from dilution, thanks to the Federal Trademark Dilution Act.