First Amendment Free Speech

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech... more +
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from making laws respecting the establishment of religion, prohibiting the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech or the press, preventing citizens from peacefully assembling, or interfering with citizens' ability to petition the government for redress of their grievances. The First Amendment is one of the most sacred aspects of the American legal tradition and has spawned a vast body of jurisprudence and commentary. less -
News & Analysis as of

Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. -- Judge Mayer on the First Amendment

Decided September 30th, this Federal Circuit case is already making waves. The majority opinion seems to be at tension with the Court's outcome in BASCOM Glob. Internet Servs., Inc. v. AT&T Mobility LLC, but the real...more

Upcoming FDA Public Meeting on Speech and Medical Products

As a reminder, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is holding a two-day public meeting on November 9 and 10, 2016 regarding “Manufacturer Communications Regarding Unapproved Uses of Approved or Cleared Medical Products.” ...more

A Contentious Presidential Election, #BlackLivesMatter and Bathroom Laws: Addressing Polarizing Current Events in the Workplace

It is practically impossible these days to turn on the news, get on the internet or listen to the radio without hearing about some polarizing event. Whether it is a debate over the presidential candidates, the...more

Lee v Tam

The Supreme Court agreed on September 29 to consider whether a provision of the Lanham Act that allows the USPTO to refuse to register “disparaging” trademarks violates the constitutional right to free speech. The case is...more

Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. (Fed. Cir. 2016) - Just When You Thought the Federal Circuit Was Softening...

Intellectual Ventures I LLC ("IV") sued Symantec Corp. and Trend Micro (defendants) for infringement of various claims of three U.S. Patents (Nos. 6,460,050; 6,073,142; and 5,987,610). The District Court held the asserted...more

Supreme Court Rejects Effort By Redskins to Join Slants

The Supreme Court rejected the effort by the Washington Redskins to skip the 4th Circuit and Join the hearing of the USPTO appeal of the SLANTS case....more

Don’t Be Offended: Supreme Court Set to Decide Whether Offensive Trademark Ban Violates First Amendment

The United States Supreme Court, on September 29, 2016, granted certiorari in a case involving petitioner Simon Tam, his band, The Slants, and the band’s attempt to register their band name as a trademark. Commentators...more

Political Speech in the Workplace

The upcoming presidential election between two larger-than-life characters, each capable of stirring intense emotional reactions from both sides, is sure to produce some spirited debate around the water cooler this fall. ...more

Brandmarking - Volume 5, Number 2 - October 2016

Supreme Court Review of “Disparagement” Trademark Case May – or May Not – Implicate First Amendment, Impact Washington Redskins Case - The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear one of two high-profile cases that...more

Is a Consumer Trade Association’s Speech Covered by the DC Anti-SLAPP Act?

When a consumer trade association “speaks” about the health effects of a product, is its speech on an issue of public interest, and thus within the scope of the DC anti-SLAPP statute, or is it in furtherance of the...more

Local Campaign Finance Reform: What Local Agencies Can – and Cannot – Do (Part 2)

Last week, PublicCEO ran Part 1 of this article that explored the relationship between free speech and campaign finance laws, Super PACs and their influence on campaign finance, and how the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens...more

SCOTUS to Decide Constitutionality of State "No Credit Card Surcharge" Laws

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether state laws that prohibit merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases violate the First Amendment. The petition for certiorari granted by the Supreme Court...more

Supreme Court Grants Cert. in USPTO Appeal of Slants Decision: Whether The Ban On Offensive Trademarks Violates The First...

The Supreme Court granted the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s petition for certiorari in In re Tam, 117 USPQ2d 1101 (Fed. Cir. 2016). In that case, the USPTO denied registration of an application to register the...more

The SLANTS Trademark Will Play One More Gig: U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Constitutionality of Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the U.S. Trademark Office can deny registration of offensive trademarks or whether such prohibition violates the First Amendment. The dispute affects the...more

Of Slants, Skins And Signs: The Supreme Court Grants Certiorari

We have been following the course of In re Tam as it has progressed through the PTO and the courts. To recap, at issue is whether Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of marks that may disparage...more

Election 2016: Political Speech and Activity in the Workplace

On November 8, voters across the country will head to the polls to determine the next president. Some states have already begun the early voting process. Voters will also decide who fills various U.S. congressional seats,...more

UPDATE: CA Supreme Court Grants Review of Order Requiring to Remove Negative Reviews of Law Firm Following Determination...

In a case which was the subject of our Alert dated June 22, 2016, the California Supreme Court agreed on September 21, 2016 to review a lawsuit that warns could lead to the removal of negative reviews on the popular...more

You Can't Say That! Or Can You? - Discussing Politics at Work

The 2016 presidential election season has been particularly divisive, with candidates trading insults on a regular basis. Naturally, conversations about politics and candidates spill over into the workplace. A recent survey...more

Off-Label Promotion And The First Amendment Updates

Although activity around the Amarin and Pacira cases has settled down, questions regarding the FDA’s position on truthful off-label promotion-and whether it comports with First Amendment free speech principles—persist....more

John Edwards argues before the Texas Supreme Court on important libel case that started in 2003

Houston partner John K. Edwards recently argued before the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of a newspaper and reporter in an important libel case that started in 2003 concerning an article published in a Fort Bend County...more

From sports and entertainment to politics and social justice—when worlds collide in your workplace

It’s everywhere. Whether you like it or not, you can’t escape it. While the topics of politics and social justice are undoubtedly important discussions to have in our country, the reality is that they now seem ever present....more

Fall Is In The Air: Are The Justices Getting Ready For The Gridiron?

The Washington Redskins Ask The Supreme Court To Block Fourth Circuit From Participation In Important Trademark Cases Another Labor Day is behind us, kids are back to school, and fall has unofficially arrived (it will...more

Slapped Down: California Supreme Court Rules Anti-SLAPP Law Applies to Mixed Causes of Action

In Baral v. Schnitt, the California Supreme Court addressed a question that has divided California appellate courts for more than a decade: whether a special motion to strike under California’s anti-SLAPP statute (C.C.P....more

Anti-SLAPP Applies to Concealment Claim

Suarez v. Trigg Laboratories Inc., Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 4, California, September 7, 2016, Case No. B26511 - The California Court of Appeal for the Second District holds that anti-SLAPP statute...more

More Talk – No Action – From FDA on Off-Label “Communication”

It’s been over two years since the FDA – in March, 2014 Draft Guidelines and then in its June 2014 “grant” of an industry-submitted citizen’s petition – promised to review its restrictions on so-called “off-label promotion”...more

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