Highly recommend this recent posting by Susan Gunelius in the March 28, 2014 edition of Forbes discussing some case studies of how brands protect their trademarks from trademark misuse. The posting can be found here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2014/03/28/how-brands-protect-their-reputations-by-combatting-trademark-misuse/
As Susan correctly notes, t only hurt the company that owns the brand and its intellectual property assets, it also hurts consumers. But the good news is that, while trademark misuse is still rampant today, brands have a much better chance of catching violations and stopping them before they do any harm because of the modern technology at their disposal.
Susan makes the interesting argument that trademark misuse is not only a marketing and legal concern but also an ethical problem because in today’s world companies are accountable for protecting not only profits but also the planet and people (i.e., employees, consumers, and the communities where they do business). Consequently, responding to trademark misuse rises to a new level of importance for companies.
Very interesting and thought provoking . . . .