Dilution involves the unauthorized use of the trademark of another business on products or services that do not compete with, or have little connection with, those of the trademark owner.
There are two different types of dilution:
- Blurring decreases the likelihood that a mark will serve as a unique identifier and can diminish the selling power of the owner’s mark.
- Tarnishment harms a trademark owner’s reputation by linking the mark to products or services that are of poor quality or which are portrayed in an objectionable context.
A dilution survey typically seeks to assess whether relevant consumers associate unauthorized trademark use with the trademark owner’s products or services. It can also be used to determine whether the products or services sold using the allegedly infringing mark are perceived negatively within the marketplace. If there are high levels of association and the allegedly infringing mark elicits negative consumer reactions, it provides strong evidence of dilution.
Applied Marketing Science (AMS) regularly conducts surveys to measure dilution in trademark infringement matters. Our dilution surveys have been submitted and accepted as evidence in litigation matters involving a broad range of products and services.