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Supreme Court Rules “Disparagement Clause” of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court ruled that the 70-year-old federal ban on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional. The “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act prohibits registration of trademarks “which may disparage...more

Siding with The Slants: Ban on Disparaging Marks Held Unconstitutional

by Jones Day on

Asian rock band The Slants is no longer "The Band Who Must Not Be Named," as they titled their most recent album. On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court decided Matal v. Tam, striking a provision of the Lanham Act,...more

Supreme Court Holds that First Amendment Protects Disparaging Trademarks

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court emphasized the importance of broad free speech protection in striking down a statute that allows the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to refuse registration of disparaging trademarks....more

The Slants, The Redskins, and Free Speech for All Parties

This week’s Matal v. Tam (formerly Lee v. Tam) Supreme Court ruling serves as a reminder that free speech is a two-way street. It also suggests the value of a sympathetic litigant, at least in terms of public response....more

Your New ®Ight To Disparage – A Look Inside “The Slants” Lanham Act Decision

by McCarter & English, LLP on

The Federal trademark statute’s more-than-60-year prohibition on registering trademarks that may be viewed as disparaging goes out the window with the United States Supreme Court’s recent unanimous decision. The Court ruled...more

Slanting Toward The End Of The Commercial Speech Doctrine

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Amid the hullabaloo over the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision this week in Matal v. Tam, a much broader and potentially more significant development might be overlooked. It shouldn’t be. The case involved Simon Tam’s band...more

Update: Ban on Registering “Disparaging” Trademarks Unconstitutional

by Genova Burns LLC on

In a unanimous opinion based on differing rationale, the Supreme Court held that the federal prohibition on registering “disparaging” trademarks is unconstitutional. (Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293)....more

The Supreme Court Holds the Lanham Act’s Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by Robins Kaplan LLP on

In a closely watched decision, the eight participating members of the Supreme Court unanimously held that the so-called disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment. The high-profile case of Matan v....more

Supreme Court strikes down Lanham Act's disparagement clause as unconstitutional

by Dentons on

In a landmark decision that will significantly impact those seeking to block or cancel trademarks they consider offensive, the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down the "disparagement clause" of the federal trademark...more

SCOTUS: Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause of the Lanham Act Violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment

On June 19, 2017, in Matal v. Tam, previously Lee v. Tam, the Supreme Court handed down its most impactful interpretation of the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to date by holding that at its intersection with the...more

Supreme Court Holds Entities May Register Disparaging Trademarks

by Morgan Lewis on

The Lanham Act’s restriction on trademarks that disparage persons living or dead violates the First Amendment. Though the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has sometimes reversed its position on whether a...more

Supreme Court Finds Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional Under First Amendment

by BakerHostetler on

In a victory for the Asian-American rock band The Slants, the Supreme Court ruled on June 19 that the ban on the registration of disparaging trademarks under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violates the First Amendment. The...more

“Giving Offense is a Viewpoint”: Supreme Court Holds It Is Viewpoint Discrimination to Deny Trademark Protection for Allegedly...

by Dickinson Wright on

In a decision that is being heralded as a victory for First Amendment freedoms, the United States Supreme Court struck down the so-called disparagement provision of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §1052(a), on the basis that the...more

Supreme Court Rocks the Trademark Office in “Slants” Case

by Fenwick & West LLP on

After a streak of six patent decisions uniformly overruling the Federal Circuit, and for the first time all term, the Supreme Court finally handed the Federal Circuit a win this week. In its landmark ruling in Matal v. Tam...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

by Fish & Richardson on

The Supreme Court on Monday in Matal v. Tam unanimously struck down part of a 70-year old federal trademark law, holding that it violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. Simon Tam leads a four-person band....more

SCOTUS Strikes Down Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

by Reed Smith on

Earlier this week, a unanimous but fractured Supreme Court ruled that a controversial provision in the Lanham Act prohibiting the registration of trademarks that disparage “persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or...more

Matal v. Tam: Trademark Disparagement Clause Held Unconstitutional

by Shearman & Sterling LLP on

Yesterday, the Supreme Court held in an 8–0 decision that the disparagement clause in the Trademark statute—which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute”...more

A Good Day for Free Speech Advocates: Supreme Court Holds Unconstitutional Federal Trademark Law’s Anti-Disparagement Provision

by Snell & Wilmer on

In Matal v. Tam, the United States Supreme Court held unconstitutional, under the First Amendment, the “disparagement clause” of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), which permits denial of a trademark registration application by the United...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Statute Banning Disparaging Trademarks

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam unanimously held that a portion of 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), the Lanham Act provision that prohibits the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . persons, living or...more

In Victory for The Slants, U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Lanham Act’s Disparagement Clause

In Matal v. Tam, the United States Supreme Court struck a provision of the Lanham Act that has been used to deny federal registration of trademarks deemed disparaging to “persons, . . . institutions, beliefs, or national...more

Supreme Court: Disparaging Speech Protected By First Amendment Lanham Section 2(a) Unconstitutional: A Win for the Slants and the...

In a unanimous (albeit fractured) decision written by Justice Alito, the United States Supreme struck down a provision of the Lanham (Trademark) Act barring registration of “disparaging” trademarks, handing a victory to...more

Matal v. Tam: The Supreme Court Says You Can Register &%$£!*®

On June 19, 2017, the US Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam unanimously affirmed a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which precludes “disparaging” trademark...more

Your trademarks now can (but needn’t) be offensive

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

If you want to — though we don’t encourage it — you can now disparage ethnic groups in your federally registered trademarks. Indeed, the Supreme Court has unanimously given you a constitutional right to select, and obtain...more

Matal v. Tam: U.S. Supreme Court Holds Prohibition on Disparaging Trademarks Unconstitutional under First Amendment

In a unanimous decision handed down on June 19th, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a long-standing prohibition against federal registration of “disparaging” trademarks, finding that the this provision of...more

Supreme Court to Slants: “Rock On!” Trademark Ban on Offensive Trademarks Held Unconstitutional

by Bracewell LLP on

On June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously held that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. §1052(a)), the provision of federal trademark law barring registration of disparaging trademarks, violates the First...more

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