A Florida trademark lawsuit has been filed by Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus against singer Kid Rock’s “Greatest Show on Earth” tour. This is what is known as a trademark dilution lawsuit, and it’s been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, according to Rolling Stone.
Trademark dilution happens when a person, business or organization uses a famous mark in a way that tarnishes or blurs the mark. Dilution means the user is marring the capacity of that mark that is used to distinguish certain services or goods – even if there is no competition between the two parties or likelihood of any confusion, deception or mistake by consumers. That’s what makes it a bit different than the typical trademark infringement lawsuit, which involves the feasibility that consumers will be confused between the defendant and plaintiff in such a case.
In this example, no one is likely to confuse Kid Rock’s concert for a circus act (all jokes aside). Still, because the long-running (and now defunct) circus has such a strong mark, the singer’s use of the famous trademark may serve to trivialize the circus’s mark. Continue Reading