Don’t let this happen to you. This Northern District of New York case doesn’t really represent new law but it illustrates that “Creeping Equities” is still a common problem which can befall a strong mark in a narrow field. Plainitff had used TYCOS on sphygmomanometers and stethoscopes since 1909. Defendant, one of the world’s larger companies, used TYCO as a secondary trading name when it entered the healthcare field several years ago. Several years ago plaintiff probably would have lost a dilution action, as its reputation was in a specific field. Now equity bars plaintiff from undoing the resulting reverse confusion.
UPDATE on June 7: In view of the indictment of the CEO of Tyco this week, one wonders if Welch Allyn is experiencing schadenfreude.