Lauren P. Smith


The Federal Trademark Dilution Act poses a serious threat for filmmakers, much more so than found under the original Lanham Act. A filmmaker can be found guilt of dilution without a finding that consumers would likely be confused by the allegedly diluting use. The mere appearance of a mark in a film would not likely violate a trademark holders rights. According dilution's much less stringent standard, non-competing uses of a mark which would "blur" its strength would violate a holder's rights. Courts have used the FTDA in ways as broad as its language allows, and it poses a very serious danger for filmmakers while also threatening their First Amendment rights. Courts should adapt a similar fair use standard as that codified in copyright laws.