Intellectual Property Rights, Copyright, Patent or Trademark Infringement

Trademark Infringement
vs. Trademark Dilution

Ream Law Firm, L.L.C. April 14, 2022

A trademark is a valuable asset to a company. Unfortunately, many businesses are vulnerable to trademark infringement. Infringement, however, is not the only threat that your company may be facing. Some businesses may also be at risk of becoming victims of trademark dilution.

If you need assistance with protecting your company’s trademark from infringement or you have been accused of trademark infringement or dilution, the business litigation attorney at Ream Law Firm, L.L.C., can help. As an experienced attorney who serves clients in Kansas City, Missouri, Dale J. Ream has extensive experience resolving trademark disputes by mediation, negotiation, arbitration, and litigation. Mr. Ream also handles trademark lawsuits throughout Jackson County, Missouri, and Johnson County, Kansas.

What is Trademark Infringement?

Trademark infringement is a term used to describe the use of a trademark in violation of the exclusive rights of the trademark’s owner. Thus, if your trademark was used without your permission, you can file a trademark infringement lawsuit against the individual or entity that infringed upon your trademark.

When the owner of a trademark can prove that their mark was infringed, the court may award damages and prohibit the infringer—the party that engaged in unauthorized use of the trademark—from using the mark.

What is Trademark Dilution?

Trademark dilution means that the mark was used without the owner’s permission in a way that is likely to cause harm to the mark or impair its distinctive quality. When enforcing their trademark rights, owners of trademarks often allege that they were a victim of both infringement and dilution. There are many factors that affect the determination of whether infringement can be considered dilution, including the duration and extent of the infringer’s unauthorized use of the trademark.

Federal and state laws protect famous trademarks against the dilution of the distinctive qualities of the mark. Reach out to an experienced trademark infringement attorney to analyze the facts of your case and determine if you can sue the infringer for trademark dilution.

Trademark Infringement vs. Trademark Dilution: How Do They Differ?

Many people do not understand the difference between trademark infringement and trademark dilution. However, there are different standards for filing a lawsuit for infringement and dilution. It is critical to understand the differences between these two claims to ensure that you can enforce your rights and obtain appropriate damages from the infringer.

Unlike a claim for trademark infringement, dilution claims do not require the plaintiff (the party whose trademark was infringed) to establish a likelihood of confusion. A lawsuit for trademark dilution can be brought when the infringer’s use of the mark causes any of the following:

  • Blurring impairs the distinctiveness of the owner’s famous trademark because of the infringer’s unauthorized use of the mark

  • Tarnishing occurs when the infringer’s use of the trademark harms the reputation of the owner’s mark because of its association with the infringer’s mark

In other words, while trademark infringement creates confusion for the consumer, trademark dilution impairs the distinctive qualities of the wronged party’s trademark. Thus, there is no requirement to prove a likelihood of confusion when filing a trademark dilution claim. However, courts will have to determine whether or not the trademark is famous enough to qualify for trademark dilution.

Consult with a skilled trademark infringement attorney to help you determine the best course of action in your particular case.

How a Knowledgeable Attorney Can Help

Dale J. Ream, a business litigation attorney at Ream Law Firm, L.L.C., handles trademark infringement and dilution claims. Mr. Ream can help you understand the difference between trademark infringement and trademark dilution. Additionally, as a skilled lawyer, Dale J. Ream will analyze the facts of your case and advise you on your best course of action. Get a one-on-one evaluation today to begin moving forward in your trademark dispute.