Defendants in the case allegedly infringed and diluted a mark held by Leapers, Inc. to trade dress rights “in the distinctive scalloping design applied to the adjustment knobs and bells of its rifle scope.” Leapers, Inc. v. SMTS, LCC, ED Mich., 14-CV-12290, 10/3/2014. Leapers claimed that these scopes were both “famous and… widely recognized by the general consuming public of the United States as a designation for the source of the goods of Leapers.”
The dilution claim was dismissed under Fed.R.Civ.P 12(b)(6) because the complaint did not allege that the rifle scope had anything but “niche” fame. The court found that such “niche” fame was not protectable under the dilution statute. Leapers, Inc. v. SMTS, LCC, ED Mich., 14-CV-12290, 10/3/2014.
The court held that the trade dress dilution claim was not “plausible on its face,” because the trade dress was not widely recognized by the general consuming public. Section 43(c) of the Lanham Act, 15, U.S.C. 1125(c).