Dilution of a Trademark: European and United States Law Compared
Trademark Reporter, Vol. 94, p. 1163, November-December 2004
19 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2009
Date Written: November-December 2004
The author compares the trademark anti-dilution and anti-free riding provisions of Articles 4(4)(a) and 5(2) of the 1988 European Union Trademark Directive with the United States Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1996. Interpretations of the European Court of Justice are compared with that of the United States Supreme Court in the Victoria's Secret decision and of the lower federal courts. The author concludes that on both sides of the Atlantic, the courts have resolved cases by an abstract reading of the wording of their respective laws, divorced from their theoretical foundations. In both the E.U. and the U.S., courts have had little success in making sense of their anti-dilution laws.
Keywords: trademark, anti-dilution, anti-free riding, EU, European Union, Trademark Directive, Trademark Dilution Act, Victoria's secret
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