Friday, March 18, 2005

Stop the Trademark Dilution Revision Act

Currently there is a house bill that would revise the Lanham Act's Trademark Dilution provisions. Historically, trademark infringement actions could only be brought when marks were confusingly similar to one another. In 1977 the federal trademark laws were amended to allow a cause of action for diluting a famous mark even when there was no likelihood of confusion. That means, if a mark is similar, even if the products are completely different, a junior mark that "whittles away" the distinctiveness of the senior mark is now infringing. This amendment was a huge expansion of trademark rights, and there was much concern of its chilling effects on free speech.

Well, now Congress is considering expanding the dilution statute even more. With its proposed revision, the senior mark holder doesn't even have to show damages in order to prove dilution. The proposed amendment is drafted in such a way that words, images, or even colors that look vaguely like a famous brand would be considered dilution. There is no doubt this chills free speech. As such the EFF is launching a campaign to prevent Congress from passing this bill. Just click on the above link, fill out your name and address, and they'll send an email to your Congressperson telling him or her that this proposed amendment is no good. Thanks.


Blogger Crapartist said...

I am disgusted.

These people rely on advertising, and thus colors, fonts, and wording, for their livelihood. It is natural to protect one's livelihood. Hence it is natural to lobby for restrictions such as this.

Do we still have the right to bear arms? Yes? Thank God. The pen is mightier than the sword, I hope.

7:17 PM  

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