The Protection of Reputed Trademarks Beyond Likelihood of Confusion
The world has changed materially since the foundation of traditional trademark laws, according to which the purpose of a trademark was to serve as a differentiating source indicator, preventing source confusion in the marketplace. Traditionally, trademarks protected the public from likelihood of confusion, assisted in consumer decisions and reduced search costs.
The need to award a special scope of protection to famous trademarks from use on non-competing goods was first discussed in Kodak in 1898, holding that the use of the word Kodak for a bicycle company does not mislead consumers but takes unfair advantage of reputation. However, the most significant point in the evolution of dilution, in its early stages, was the case of Odol decided in 1924, which was the first to acknowledge the need to protect the advertising power of trademarks from being diluted, even in the absence of a likelihood of confusion.
This book will provide that dilution is a ‘sui generis’ brand remedy applicable to reputed trademarks in accordance to their aggregated inherent and acquired strength. The book will address the non-harmonised nature of dilution, which reflects a problem in an age of borderless trade and cyber commerce and emphasises the need to answer the question: To what extent should reputed trademarks be protected by dilution beyond the traditional trademark protection from likelihood of confusion?
The book includes a proposal for an operative legal framework based on conclusions and distinctions derived from the comparison of dilution, as adopted and interpreted in different areas of the world, comparative case studies and comparison with neighbouring legal rights, such as Tort Law, Unfair Competition, Moral Rights, Equitable Rights, Publicity Rights and Unlawful Enrichment.