McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP attorneys Emily Miao and Alan Krantz co-authored an article entitled, “The Coach Services case: When is a trademark ‘famous’ for trademark dilution purposes?” that appears in the October 17, 2012 edition of Westlaw Journal Intellectual Property. A holder of a “famous” trademark has the right to prevent dilution of its mark — that is, to stop uses of the mark by others that are likely to blur or tarnish the famous mark even in the absence of potential customer confusion. However, the Federal U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals’ decision in Coach Services Inc. v. Triumph Learning LLC clarified the high burden that trademark owners have in demonstrating that its mark is famous in order to support a dilution claim. Coach Services Inc., producer of well-known luxury handbags and accessories, learned that its famous Coach trademark is not so famous after all. In its recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed in large part Triumph Learning’s victory against CSI.
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Note: this article originally appeared in the MBHB Spring 2012 edition of snippets publication.