It is not every day that tree rings are trending on Bing.

This image got me thinking about how it might be an even better image to illustrate how effective trademark enforcement can impact the scope of trademark rights.

As you may recall, I have illustrated this concept before using the perfectly regular concentric circles culminating in the bulls-eye of a shooting target.

Trademark rights are dynamic, they can shrink or grow over time, and if a trademark owner ignores the confusingly similar marks others use in the marketplace, they are destined to stagnate, if not shrink over time.

Even though the more violent metaphors are rich with discussions of trademark “wars,” “battles,” and “fights,” not everyone can relate to shooting targets, I suspect, so let’s consider the imperfectly (or, perhaps perfectly, depending on your perspective) concentric circles embodied in the rings of a tree trunk instead.

Given the highly subjective and fact specific nature of trademark “disagreements,” the reality that no two cases are the same, and the frequently difficult task of reliably predicting outcomes with limited information, the irregular bands of tree rings might form a better metaphor to illustrate how trademark rights might naturally grow over time with the implementation of an intelligent trademark enforcement strategy.

So, which image do you prefer, or do you have an even better one?