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Trademark Infringement & Dilution

Owners of strong and famous trademarks have two categories of claims that may be asserted to prevent other businesses from using similar names:

To prevail on infringement or unfair competition, a plaintiff must prove:

  • Prior rights in a valid mark; and
  • Defendant’s mark is so similar as to create a likelihood of confusion, mistake or deception.

To prevail on dilution under federal law, a plaintiff must prove:

  • Ownership of a famous mark that is widely recognized by the general consuming public; and
  • After the mark became famous, the defendant began using a mark or trade name that is likely to cause dilution by blurring or tarnishment of the famous mark.

Last Modified: September 5th, 2010