Lanham Act

What Does Lanham Act Mean?

The Lanham Act is a federal trademark law passed by President Harry S. Truman in July 1946. It governs and regulates the use of commercial trademarks and service marks and defines trademark infringement prohibitions and penalties. The ever-evolving nature of IT and the digital world have created increasing challenges to enforcement of the Lanham Act.


The Lanham Act is also known as the Trademark Act.

Techopedia Explains Lanham Act

Internet growth has exacerbated the uncertainty and conflicts related to U.S. trademark law. The issue of domain names and trademarks has been especially contentious. In July 2011, Facebook filed a U.S. District Court lawsuit against cybersquatting domains, including Facebook, Inc. v. Cyber2Media, Inc., alleging trademark violations per the Lanham Act. In this and similar cases, defendants from around the world surrendered dozens of domains. In February 2011, the Central District of California determined in Binder v. Disability Group Inc. that purchasing a competitor’s trademark through Google AdWords is trademark infringement under the Lanham Act’s use in commerce requirement.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.