Also known as the Trademark Act of 1946. The federal statute governing trademark (www.practicallaw.com/4-501-4858) law, including registration (with the US Patent and Trademark Office (www.practicallaw.com/9-383-7926)), maintenance and protection of trademarks used in or affecting interstate commerce. The Lanham Act provides a federal cause of action for infringement of trademarks registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office.
The Lanham Act also provides federal causes of action for certain other unfair competition claims, such as trademark dilution, false advertising, false endorsement and passing off (which includes infringement claims for unregistered marks, trade dress (www.practicallaw.com/2-502-0450) and trade names (www.practicallaw.com/8-502-0230)).
The Lanham Act generally does not preempt state common law trademark and unfair competition principles or state trademark statutes.
For more information, see Practice Notes, Intellectual Property: Overview: Trademarks (www.practicallaw.com/8-383-4565) and Advertising: Overview: Section 43(a) of the Lanham Act (www.practicallaw.com/2-501-2799).