I can’t for the life of me remember where I first saw this. Some resourceful blogger must have pointed me to it in the last week or so. In any case, it’s been on my mind ever since. It’s an interview with Scot Duvall (pictured left), attorney for Victor and Cathy Moseley of “Victor’s Secret” and Moseley v. V Secret fame. In it, Mr. Duvall discusses Moseley, the need for a dilution cause of action, and his work last year with the International Trademark Association to revise the statute.
His view on the new “likelihood of dilution” standard:
“The ‘likelihood of dilution’ standard is offset by a narrowing of what constitutes a ‘famous’ mark, which is a mark of widespread renown recognized by the general consuming public of the United States. This is a watershed moment in the federal law of dilution. Brands that are ‘famous’ only in a niche product market, or only in a region of the United States, no longer qualify for protection under federal dilution law. This makes sense to me and to many in the trademark community. Dilution was always intended to be an extraordinary remedy for a limited number of extraordinary marks, and the TDRA takes the law back to these essential basics.”
The impact Mr. Duvall believes the Trademark Dilution Revision Act will have:
“Undoubtedly, issues will arise for resolution under the TDRA over the next several years. Litigants and judges will try their hand at applying the new standards to interesting cases. We will probably read about a headline-making case from time to time and debate whether the court reached the correct result. For now, famous brand owners and small businesses alike would be well-advised to tread the dilution waters carefully – and to consult their trademark counsel before launching new products or services that call to mind a well-known brand (or bringing suit against a newcomer under either of the dilution causes of action).”
The full interview, conducted by law student Jessica Tipton, is published in The Brand: The Internet Magazine of Intellectual Property, an interesting trademark law resource in its own right. I’m glad I discovered it. Or that someone pointed me to it. Whatever.