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Definition Edit

Tarnishment occurs when the reputation of a famous mark has been harmed by negative associations arising from the similarity between another mark and the famous mark.[1]

Overview Edit

Situations in which tarnishment could result are when a famous mark is “linked to products of shoddy quality, or is portrayed in an unwholesome or unsavory context, with the result that the public will associate the lack of quality or lack of prestige in the defendant’s goods with the plaintiff’s unrelated goods.”[2]


  1. 15 U.S.C. §1125(c)(2)(C).
  2. Hormel Foods Corp. v. Jim Henson Prods., 73 F.3d 497, 507, 37 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1516 (2d Cir. 1996)(full-text) (citations and internal quotations omitted).

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