Dilution of the brand

Brand dilution exists if the Distinctive character a registered trademark is weakened. This can have various effects, such as

  • Risk of confusion: Consumers may confuse the diluted trademark with another trademark.
  • Impairment of the origin function: Consumers can no longer clearly identify the company from which the products or services originate.
  • Damage to the brand reputation: The diluted brand can have a negative impact on the reputation of the original brand.

Types of brand dilution:

There are various types of trademark dilution that are relevant in trademark law:

  • Dilution through use: The use of the trademark by third parties for similar or identical products or services.
  • Dilution through Risk of confusion: The use of a similar trademark that may lead to confusion with the original trademark.
  • Dilution through descriptive use: The use of the trademark as a generic term for products or services.
  • Dilution through reputation exploitation: Using the reputation of a well-known brand for your own products or services.

Causes of brand dilution:

Brand dilution can have various causes, such as

  • Overstretching of the brand: Using the brand for too many products or services that are not related to each other.
  • Quality defects: The quality of the brand's products or services decreases.
  • Wrong marketing strategy: The brand is not positioned clearly and consistently.
  • Brand piracy: The trademark is being used illegally by third parties.

Consequences of brand dilution:

Brand dilution can have serious consequences for companies, including:

  • Loss of market share: Customers can no longer distinguish the brand from other brands and switch to competitors.
  • Lower prices: Companies have to lower prices in order to remain competitive, which leads to lower profits.
  • Damage to the brand image: The brand loses value and appeal.
  • Cancellation of the trademark: Both the MarkenG and the UMV provide for the Declaration of the trademark as expired when the brand name has become a generic term.

Prevention of brand dilution:

Brand owners can take various measures to prevent brand dilution, such as

  • Development of a clear brand strategy: The brand strategy should clearly define the core values of the brand and its positioning in the market.
  • Continuous quality control: The quality of products and services must be kept consistently high.
  • Effective brand management: The brand must be actively maintained and protected.
  • Consistent Prosecution of trademark infringements: Companies should take action against brand piracy in order to protect the brand.

Legal steps:

In some cases, trademark dilution can result in legal action. Trademark owners can take action against third parties who infringe their trademark rights and demand injunctive relief, removal and compensation.


Brand dilution is a serious problem that can severely affect the value and protectability of a brand. Brand owners should therefore take proactive measures to protect and maintain their brands.

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