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U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statute Outlawing Disparaging Trademarks

by Akin Gump - Excubitor on

On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam that a statute banning registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court’s invalidating the statute should...more

Intellectual Property and Technology News (Asia Pacific) June 2017

by DLA Piper on

Welcome to the latest Asia Pacific Edition of the Intellectual Property and Technology News, our biannual publication designed to report on worldwide developments in intellectual property and technology law, offering...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Trademark Registrations Are Free to Disparage

by Dickinson Wright on

Justice Alito’s summary opinion announced in Court Monday morning, in what has come to be known as the Slants case (Matel v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017), was short and sweet but the trademark applications we can expect...more

Battle of the Bands and the Clothiers

The famous Coachella Music Festival is held every April in Indio, California. This year Beyoncé, Radiohead, Lorde and several DJs (including DJ Snyder, DJ Kahleel, DJ Shadow) performed....more

Supreme Court Rules On Disparaging Trademarks

by Revision Legal on

For decades, the USPTO has denied registration to trademarks that are disparaging and offensive to specific racial or ethnic groups under the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. The United States Supreme Court recently...more

Absent Commercial Use, Copyright Law Likely Preempts Right of Publicity Claims

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In a right of publicity case, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld a district court decision granting a motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute on the basis of copyright preemption. Maloney v....more

Who Wore It Best? Virtually Identical Fabric Design Supports Inference of Copying

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed that it is permissible to infer copying, even absent evidence of access, where the accused design and the copyright are so overwhelmingly identical that the possibility...more

Time to Zoom In on Application of DMCA Safe Harbor Defense

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In reversing a district court grant of summary judgment in favor of a social media platform, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ordered a deeper look at the degree to which the common law of agency affects a safe...more

If You Have Nothing Nice to Say, Say ®

On June 19, the Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional a provision of the Lanham Act prohibiting federal registration of disparaging trademarks. The Court’s ruling in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___, No. 15-1298 (June 19,...more

Supreme Court: First Amendment Protects “Disparaging” Trademarks

Since its enactment as the basic federal law on trademarks in 1946, the Lanham Act has prohibited the registration of “derogatory” trademarks with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). On June 19, 2017, the...more

Brands that Bite - The Supreme Court unanimously rules that the First Amendment forbids the Trademark Office from refusing to...

By striking down the “disparagement clause,” a 70-year-old provision of federal trademark law, the Supreme Court’s ruling this week in Matal v. Tam has the potential to change the ways in which people conceive, market,...more

An Implied Contract Can Turn You “Inside Out” — Remember the Non-Confidential Disclosure Agreement

Denise Daniels has sued the Walt Disney Company in the Central District of California for breach of an implied-in-fact contract to compensate her for using her ideas in the movie Inside Out. Daniels alleges that she relied...more

Supreme Court Holds Statute Banning Registration of Disparaging Marks Violates the First Amendment

by Brinks Gilson & Lione on

This past Monday, June 19, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), is unconstitutional under the First Amendment. Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293, 582 U.S. ___ (2017). Section...more

Of Slants, Skins, And Signs: Section 2(a) Prohibition of Disparaging Trademark Registrations Struck Down!

Well, that happened! According to the Supreme Court’s opinion in Matal v. Tam, Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which purports to prohibit the registration of marks that “disparage . . . persons,” is unconstitutional. ...more

Disparaging, Degrading, Derogatory Trademarks: They're Now Enforceable Says Supreme Court

by Lewitt Hackman on

You may remember that several national sports franchises are under fire for trademarks and branding that is seen to be racially disparaging. The Washington Redskins are the first team to come to mind, and it wasn’t too long...more

KISS That Trademark Application Goodbye

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

We recently provided some commentary on Gene Simmons and his application to register the “devil horns” rock and roll hand symbol. Well, you can now KISS that application goodbye, as Mr. Simmons has expressly abandoned his...more

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

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