Dilution by Blurring: A Conceptual Roadmap
Intellectual Property Quarterly, Vol. 44, 2010
53 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2010 Last revised: 28 Apr 2010
Date Written: January 5, 2010
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: Suggested Citation