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Carly Bittman

Recent Articles by Carly Bittman

Almost Famous: Many Trademark Owners Find Dilution Claims Out of Reach

In a dilution claim, a trademark owner asserts that their famous mark is entitled to protection from use that causes harm to the mark’s reputation or distinctiveness. In effect, the trademark owner is saying that the mark is so famous that even use in connection with unrelated goods or services would result in an affiliation with its business and a resulting decrease in the value of the mark. For example, you are inviting a dilution claim if you begin selling McDonalds Cars or Chevy Hamburgers. But recent dismissals of trademark dilution claims at the motion to dismiss stage highlight that plaintiffs must be prepared to show early on that their mark is a “household name” before they can pursue their claims. These decisions also show that defendants are more often turning to this early path to attack an exaggerated claim to fame.