President Signs Changes To Trademark Dilution Law
President Bush signs the Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006 (“Act”), amending the Lanham Act in response to the Supreme Court's decision in Moseley v. V Secret Catalogue, Inc ., 537 U.S. 418 (2003), which held that a dilution plaintiff must show actual dilution of its mark.
The Act lowers the standard set out in Moseley and provides that a plaintiff only needs to show a likelihood of dilution to sustain a claim. It specifically provides for relief from both dilution by blurring and dilution by tarnishment.
The new law also addresses a conflict among the Circuit Courts regarding whether a mark can be famous among a defined segment of the population, known as “niche market fame.” “Niche market” fame in a limited market appears to be disqualified by the Act's language that “a mark is famous if it is widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States as a designation of source of the goods or services of the mark's owner.”
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