Recommended Reading: David S. Welkowitz on "Famous Marks Under the TDRA"
The latest issue of The Trademark Reporter includes an excellent article by Professor David S. Welkowitz of Whittier Law School, entitled "Famous Marks Under the TDRA," 99 Trademark Reporter 983 (July-August 2009). What a pleasure it is to read such a well-written, informative, and thought-provoking work.
Professor Welkowitz's goal is to "explain the proper role of fame in our understanding of the role of dilution as part of trademark protection." He points out that the concept of fame was introduced into the dilution discussion during the deliberations over the Trademark Law Revision Act (TLRA) in 1987. The term "famous" found its way into the Federal Trademark Dilution Act (FTDA) in 1995, although it was defined only indirectly.
An express definition "famous" appeared in the Trademark Dilution Revision Act (TDRA) in 2006: "a mark is famous if it is 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." 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1125(c)(2)(A)(1). The TDRA added four factors to assist the courts in applying the definition of "famous."
Professor Welkowitz discusses why this concept was injected into dilution law, what the TDRA definition means, and how it has been and should be applied. And he places the history of dilution law into historical perspective with regard to its role in the expansion of trademark protection in past century.
Highly recommended reading.
TTABlog note: Again, a thank you to The Trademark Reporter for granting permission to provide a link to this article. The article is Copyright © 2009 the International Trademark Association and is reprinted with permission from The Trademark Reporter®, 99 TMR 983 (July-August 2009).
Text Copyright John L. Welch 2009.