Responses to trademark dilution


Marina Perraki

Responses to trademark dilution

The CJEU has provided guidance as to protection against dilution through interpretation of various regulations, but complications remain. Marina Perraki reports.

Dilution theory goes back to 1927 when Frank Schechter published his seminal article The Rational Basis for Trademark Protection, (40 Harv L Rev 813, 1927) where he talked about the need to protect trademarks (referring to identical marks only) against use by unauthorised third parties on non-similar products. Schechter was arguing based on the background of a German decision issued in 1925 (Landesgericht, Elberfeld, 25 Juristiche Wochenschrift 502).

In this case, the owner of the mouthwash trademark ‘Odol’ obtained cancellation of the same mark used in relation to steel railroad ties. Such protection was also incorporated into the European Trademark Directives and the European Community Trademark Regulations. The Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEU) has finally come to afford ample protection against dilution through the interpretation of respective legislative texts. But is the protection as abundant in reality?

Landmark CJEU rulings

cjeu, interflora, l'oreal, adidas, intel