From the hundreds of trademark cases decided in any year, it is often difficult to discern any particular theme. There are cases from many different areas raising very disparate issues. In 2010, however, trademark dilution stands out as the area with the most prominent doctrinal opinions. In addition to three court of appeals decisions, there were five significant Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) decisions from an entity whose prior involvement in dilution had been very much the exception. These dilution opinions form the centerpiece of this discussion.

There were, of course, other notable decisions involving contributory infringement and the continuing saga of Google AdWords. For good measure, there is a small detour into the related field of rights of publicity and the issue of what constitutes commercial speech. But, first things first, and dilution deserves to be front and center this year.