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What Is Trademark Dilution?

Many forms of intellectual property are protected under the law. One such form is a trademark, a word, phrase, or logo that is established by a company or entity as representing them. The purpose of a trademark is to differentiate companies and other entities from one another. However, it is possible that the distinctiveness or the differentiation between trademarks is reduced. Such instances refer to trademark dilution.

Because a trademark essentially represents a company or entity, it is absolutely important that a trademark be different from all other trademarks. Trademark dilution can occur in various ways. These ways include blurring, tarnishing, and genericization. Many jurisdictions, including the United States, have instituted and established laws that prevent trademark dilution. Such laws provide rules and guidelines to protect trademarks.

The law regarding trademark dilution addresses 2 main issues. The first issue involves consumer protection. When a consumer buys a trademarked product, it is usually because he or she identifies with the trademark, and thus the company who owns the trademark or the company that the trademark represents. This trademark is not only some form of representation but refers also to corporate responsibility in terms of quality. For example, a designer handbag carries the trademark of the designer, which may be established as clean, elegant, and detailed.

Trademark dilution in the form of blurring involves other companies using similar marks or trademarks in order to confuse consumers into thinking that the product being sold is from the company the trademark originally belongs to, which is the second issue.

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