In today's business world, companies are increasingly adopting diversification strategies through which they expand into diverse and unrelated business areas. Of additional importance with regard to trademarks and the future of trademark law is the fact that the trend toward corporate diversification is growing. To address the impact of the corporate diversification trend upon trademark law, courts have utilized various methodologies. Some courts have focused primarily upon the reasonably prudent consumer and how he or she is affected by corporate diversification. With regard to the use of trademarks on a variety of products, courts have often taken into account whether a particular company has used a single mark on a wide range of goods or services or whether it has used multiple marks for those diverse products. Another aspect of the diversification analysis has been an examination of the zone of natural expansion. Overall, it is clear that there are not yet any definite answers regarding the scope of trademark protection in light of diversification. Many uncertainties exist, especially regarding the effects of various branding strategies and diversification techniques upon the perceptions of the reasonably prudent consumer and the more general effects of the diversification trend upon the public. Despite these uncertainties, courts have created methods to assess the impacts of diversification upon trademark law.
Katherine E. Halmen,
The Effects of the Corporate Diversification Trend on Trademarks,
10 Marq. Intellectual Property L. Rev. 459
Available at: http://scholarship.law.marquette.edu/iplr/vol10/iss3/2