Tacking Law and Legal Definition

Tacking is a legal technicality that allows a trademark owner to make slight alterations in a trademark. This should be done without abandoning ownership of the original trademark. Trademark changes are made to keep pace with advertising trends and societal changes. Generally, when the use of a trademark ceases, the owner of that trademark legally forfeits or abandons all rights in the mark. However, if a mark is properly tacked, the trademark owner can claim that the priority date of the earlier mark serves as the priority date of the latter mark. This lets the owner avoid the abandonment issue.

Following the decision of the case One Indus., LLC v. Jim O'Neal Distrib., 578 F.3d 1154 (9th Cir. Cal. 2009), “the standard for 'tacking' is exceedingly strict: the marks must create the same, continuing commercial impression, and the later mark should not materially differ from or alter the character of the mark attempted to be tacked.”