SCOTUS strikes down rule against disparaging trademarks

Source: Hollywood Reporter

"Those of fiendish or mischievous mind will have an easier time registering trademarks after the Supreme Court on Monday decided to reject as unconstitutional a rule against disparaging ones. The high court's decision, authored by justice Samuel Alito, holds that a Lanham Act provision against such offensive trademarks is facially invalid under the First Amendment. … The free speech victory goes to Simon Tam, the Asian-American frontman for The Slants who attempted to register his rock band's name. He says he picked his band's moniker in an effort to reclaim a stereotype. After trademark examiners refused Tam's application, Tam brought a lawsuit, and in December 2015, he prevailed at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Supreme Court has now affirmed the lower appeals court's opinion, which is also potentially welcome news for the NFL's Washington Redskins, whose own marks were canceled for being disparaging to Native Americans." (06/19/17)

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/supreme-court-strikes-down-rule-disparaging-trademarks-1006208