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

A Couple of Law Review Articles We Actually Like

The last couple of times we’ve commented on new law review articles, we haven’t liked what we’ve seen very much. We’re gluttons for punishment, however, and this time we were rewarded. We found a couple of recent law review...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

"DC Circuit Unanimously Upholds Federal Contractor Contribution Ban"

On July 7, 2015, the federal circuit court for the District of Columbia sitting en banc issued a unanimous opinion upholding the federal contractor contribution ban against a constitutional challenge in the long-running case...more

Do You Have The Right To Be Forgotten?

Most of us want to be remembered. But, depending on their past, some people want to be forgotten – or at least they want some of their past deeds to be forgotten. But do you have a right to be forgotten? In the United States,...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Government in Confederate Flag Controversy

As promised in our earlier post, Reed v. Gilbert: Impact to municipalities across the nation, this post provides a summary of Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, a case that, coupled with Reed, has led...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 1

The Texas Anti-SLAPP law is known as the Texas Citizens Participation Act (the “TCPA” found at Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code at § 27.001, et seq.). “If a legal action is based on, relates to, or is in response to a party’s...more

Alert: Federal Court Upholds Cancellation of REDSKINS Trademark Registration

On July 8, 2015, a federal district court in Virginia upheld a ruling canceling six federal trademark registrations incorporating the term REDSKINS owned by the Washington, D.C. football team. The court agreed with the...more

The Newest Sign for Some Sign Ordinances: Stop

Sign ordinances and regulations are a fixture of city and county zoning and land use regulations, designed to prevent unattractive clutter from obstructing the public view. In creating these regulations, however, local...more

Arizona Town's Content-Based Sign Rules Struck Down by U.S. Supreme Court

Local agencies urged to review sign codes in favor of content-neutral rules - The United States Supreme Court recently struck down portions of an Arizona town’s sign code that subjected ideological, political and...more

IP Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Federal Circuit Abandons “Strong” Presumption That a Limitation Is Not Subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, Paragraph 6 - Supreme Court Rejects Belief of Invalidity Defense for Inducement in Commil...more

Supreme Court Strikes Down Ordinance Regulating Directional Signs

In the case of Reed v. Town of Gilbert, the United States Supreme Court recently issued a significant decision regarding municipal sign regulation The Town of Gilbert regulated signage differently based on the content of the...more

Texas Specialty License Plates Ruled to be Government Speech by U.S. Supreme Court

No First Amendment Violation - The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, determined that specialty license plates issued per Texas’s statutory scheme convey government speech. As such, the Texas Department of Motor...more

Entertainment and Media Litigation Update

Garcia v. Google: “Doubtful” Copyright Ownership Claim in Film Performance Does Not Outweigh First Amendment Right to Free Speech - Why it matters: In a closely watched case that tests the limits of copyright protection,...more

Supreme Court Decides Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans

On June 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans, No. 14-144, holding that a State’s specialty vehicle license plates constitute government speech, so a State that allows...more

In re Tam – Federal Circuit Orders En Banc Review of Trademark Act’s Ban Against Registration of Disparaging Marks

The Slants is a Portland-based band composed of musicians of Asian-American descent who characterize their genre as “Chinatown Dance Rock.” The band’s bassist, Simon Tam, filed a trademark application for THE SLANTS for...more

Trademark Review | May 2015

Attorneys’ Fees Might be More Readily Granted in Trademark Cases - Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court relaxed the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party in patent infringement cases. Octane...more

State Supreme Court Strikes Down Washington’s Anti-SLAPP Statute

The Washington Supreme Court this morning invalidated the state's broad anti-SLAPP statute, holding in a unanimous opinion that the law violates the constitutional right to a jury trial. The decision strikes the statute in...more

The First Amendment Trumps Trademark Rights in Radiance Found, Inc. v. NAACP

When a pro-life columnist publicized a biting article criticizing the NAACP’s stance on abortion rights, the NAACP retaliated with a cease and desist letter accusing the columnist of trademark infringement. When the dust...more

Rights in Bob Marley's name and likeness trump free speech where defence not properly pleaded | World Trademark Review

Fifty-Six Hope Road is a company run by some of Bob Marley's children, and it owns the property rights to Bob Marley's name, voice and likeness. Hope Road licensed Zion Rootswear the exclusive right to use Marley's name and...more

Illinois Federal Court Addresses Lawsuit by Christian Leafletter on Public School Property

In a recent decision in the Northern District of Illinois, a trial court granted summary judgment in favor of a school district in a lawsuit stemming from the arrest of a local resident who was leafleting and proselytizing...more

A Scandalous Mark to Some, Free Speech to Others: Federal Circuit to Decide Whether Controversial Limit on Trademark Registrations...

The Federal Circuit has decided to revisit the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act in the case of In re Shiao Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 27, 2015). Section 2(a) of the Lanham act allows the...more

Tinker, Take Two

Two legendary figures in the ongoing fight for student free speech rights are asking the Supreme Court to revisit this thorny area of First Amendment jurisprudence. John and Mary Beth Tinker were petitioners forty-six years...more

DWT Asked To Serve As Legal Counsel for Stand Up For Speech Litigation Project

Constitution Day 2013 was a pretty bad day for the Constitution on our public university campuses. That was the day that Robert Van Tuinen of Modesto Junior College in California was prevented from passing out copies of the...more

Bob Latham Speaks: Satire and Democracy

In the past two months, the role of satire in a free society has been front and center, once for tragic reasons and several times for sentimental reasons. The horrifying and outrageous murders at the Charlie Hebdo offices in...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

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