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Trademark dilution

Friday February 03rd 2006, 4:12 pm

Conversational Reading: Postmodernists Beware

Several consumer, arts and public interest groups today jointly sent a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee condemning provisions in the Trademark Dilution Revision Act (H.R. 683) that weaken protections for individuals and small businesses that refer to companies by their trademarks. . . .

Consumers and artists are currently protected from being sued for trademark infringement by companies if the use of the trademark is for “fair use” - a use that must meet a complex legal test - for news reporting/commentary, or for non-commercial use, but the recently passed House version of H.R. 683 eliminates the current non-commercial protection that the public receives. For instance, when Don McLean sang about driving his Chevy to the levee and finding the levee dry, the songwriter could have been sued for trademark dilution under the current language of the bill.

So now you can’t even mention brands without getting hit for “trademark dilution”? Pynchon is so screwed.

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