Dilution by Blurring: A Conceptual Roadmap

Intellectual Property Quarterly, Vol. 44, 2010

53 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2010 Last revised: 28 Apr 2010

See all articles by Ilanah Simon Fhima

Ilanah Simon Fhima

Institute of Brand and Innovation Law, Unversity College London

Date Written: January 5, 2010

Abstract

Dilution in general, and blurring in particular, is perhaps the most vilified doctrine within contemporary trade mark law. It is often thought of as vague, and because it lacks a requirement of confusion or even competition, it is thought to not have any real limits. It is my contention that much of the antipathy towards blurring is based on an incomplete understanding of the concept, and it is instruction to note that there is relatively little literature that attempts to map out the various reasons offered for protection against blurring. This article attempts to go some of the way to filling that gap by demystify the question of why we provide legal protection against dilution by blurring/detriment to distinctive character by reference to the views of the leading Anglo-American commentators on the subject and in doing so to argue that blurring is not such an alien form of protection. In fact, it can serve the consumer interest, just as much as it can serve that of trade mark owners.

Keywords: trademark, dilution, blurring, intellectual property, Europe, United States

JEL Classification: K39, O34

Suggested Citation

Simon, Ilanah, Dilution by Blurring: A Conceptual Roadmap (January 5, 2010). Intellectual Property Quarterly, Vol. 44, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1531581

Ilanah Simon (Contact Author)

Institute of Brand and Innovation Law, Unversity College London ( email )

Gower St
London WC1E OEG, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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