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41 Santa Clara L. Rev. 893 (2000-2001)
Dilution by Blurring under the Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1995: What Is It and How Is It Shown

handle is hein.journals/saclr41 and id is 915 raw text is: DILUTION BY BLURRING UNDER THE
Terry Ahearn*
[Ilf you allow Rolls Royce restaurants, and Rolls Royce
cafeterias, and Rolls Royce pants, and Rolls Royce candy,
in 10 years you will not have the Rolls Royce mark
anymore. )I
In 1995 Congress passed the Federal Trademark Dilution
Act (FTDA). The FTDA was designed to provide uniform
national protection to the value of trademarks and replace
the patch quilt system of state laws that had produced
inconsistent and unenforceable results.! However, dilution
theory has never been unanimously accepted as a viable
extension of traditional trademark protection,' and as
previous failed legislation5 and state court experience has
* Articles Editor, Santa Clara Law Review, Volume 41. J.D. candidate,
Santa Clara University School of Law; B.A., Fordhamn University.
1. Hearings on H.R. 11,592 Before the House Comm. on Patents, 72d Cong.
15 (1932) (statement of Frank I. Schechter, professor of law who is credited with
introducing dilution theory to the United States in his 1927 article, The
Rational Basis of Trademark Protection, which was published in the Harvard
Law Review in 1927). See infra note 37 and accompanying text.
2. Federal Trademark Dilution Act of 1995, Pub. L. No. 104-98, 109 Stat.
985 (1995) (codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 1125(c), 1127 (Supp. II 1996)).
3. See H.R. REP. No. 104-374, at 3 (1995). In pointing out that, at the
time, only 25 states had dilution laws on the books, the report stated, [a]
federal dilution statute is necessary because famous marks ordinarily are used
on a nationwide basis and dilution protection is currently only available on a
patch-quilt system of protection. Id.
4. See generally Robert N. Klieger, Trademark Dilution: The Whittling
Away of the Rational Basis for Trademark Protection, 58 U. PITT. L. REV. 789
(1997) (criticizing dilution theory in general and discussing the historical
judicial record of noncompliance with dilution statutes).
5. See H.R. 11,592, 72d Cong. (1932) (bill drafted by Frank I. Schechter
and intended to protect federally-registered marks against dilution failed to
pass); see also S. 1883, 100th Cong. (1988); H.R. 5372, 100th Cong. (1988).


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