New-School Trademark Dilution: Famous among the Juvenile Consuming Public
67 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2011
Date Written: June 8, 2009
The recently enacted Trademark Dilution Revision Act of 2006 recalibrated the degree of fame necessary to garner protection: the TDRA applies only to a mark "widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States as a designation of source of the goods or services of the mark’s owner." By privileging those major players who succeed in turning their brands into household names, the TDRA strengthens incentives for mark-owners to ensure their logos and brand names are well-recognized not only among adult consumers, but also among children. This Article examines a set of marketing behaviors aimed at children that the TDRA's revised fame standard both reflects and rewards. Deeming fewer marks famous may serve the immediate purpose of creating a higher bar for plaintiffs to successfully bring dilution claims, but that bar should be set at age twenty-one to avoid rewarding firms for making loyal consumers out of teenagers, tweens, kids and even infants.
Keywords: Advertising, Trademark, Dilution, TDRA, Marketing to Children
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