The Trademark Dilution Act of 1995 was the first implementation for the control and regulation of trademark dilution to be instated at the federal level. Beforehand, state laws were the main frame of reference regarding trademark dilution. Though they provided for a framework and basic consideration for enforcement, not all states recognized dilution provisions, and most importantly, not all states had legislation written into law.
The Dilution Act of 1995 was introduced to provide for a cohesive and general application of law to deter the occurrence of trademark dilution. Up until 2006, the Dilution Act of 1995 was the only frame of reference for the different applications of the law regarding dilution.
However, the legislation would prove to be confusing in actual court decisions simply because of the various interpretations that could be derived from the basic definitions of dilution and what a famous mark means. The Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006 sought to end the discrepancies surrounding the trademark dilution question by providing for adequate and precise definitions and consideration factors as to provide for a concise and accurate interpretation of the instated legislation.
Dilution by Blurring and Tarnishment
The unlawful practice known as trademark dilution can be placed into two distinct categories, known as blurring and tarnishment. The Trademark Dilution Revision Act provides for precise definitions for both instances of trademark dilution, and amends the Lanham Act as to ensure their inclusion to federal trademark laws.
The Revision Act also applies a list of considerations or circumstantial factors that may be used by the courts to assess how either action of dilution affects a famous mark or brand. A definition of the word “famous” under trademark applications is also stated because the term must be used effectively in describing a trademark in order to qualify to bring dilution suits against owner’s of other marks.
Dilution by blurring and tarnishment is distinguished as causing harm to the reputation of a famous mark, and thus, a company or owner of such mark must be able to prove the extent of which their trademark is actually considered “famous.”
Because the Trademark Dilution Revision Act set out to establish a more comprehensible and direct determination of trademark dilution, certain changes would have to be implemented to the established federal trademark laws under the Lanham Act of 1946.
It is inevitable that amendments would have to be made simply because of factors such as advances in technology, commerce, and changes in economics would undoubtedly affect the current status of the nation that could not been accounted for when the laws were originally drafted.
The consequential rise of trademark registrations following World War II would give a glimpse of the current situation of commerce; trademarks have become invaluable to their respective owners, in certain occasions, more so than the actual products they offer. Protection against trademark dilution is paramount in this day and age, the Revision Act provided for the necessary amendments to provide for the adequate trademark rights to be reinforced.