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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 -

In Matal V. Tam, Scotus Rules Prohibition On Disparaging Trademarks Unconstitutional

The Asian American members of the band the Slants adopted that name to “reclaim” and “take ownership” of the derogatory term. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) refused to register a trademark application...more

Social Links: A seminal opinion on web scraping; Obama breaks Twitter record; court holds state’s subpoena law applies to digital...

In an opinion granting a preliminary injunction preventing LinkedIn from blocking a startup’s use of information in LinkedIn profiles accessible to the entire public, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of...more

Troll Hunting: Practical Strategies for Businesses to Combat Anonymous Online Trolls

No matter the business you operate, modern commerce increasingly takes place online, rarely putting the consumer and your business face-to-face. A recent study revealed that approximately 80% of American consumers buy...more

What Can You Say in the Workplace? Whatever Your Employer Allows You to Say...

The recent controversy involving the Google employee fired for challenging his employer’s diversity policies highlights some misconceptions concerning free speech rights in the workplace....more

The Past, Present, and Future of Government Regulation of Off-Label Communications – Part 4

Picking up from my last installment of this series exploring the regulatory history of off-label communication, this post highlights some recent trends in FDA enforcement and guidance related to off-label promotion. Not...more

Key SCOTUS Decisions in Tech – First Half 2017

by Fenwick & West LLP on

Despite being short one justice for much of the year, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down multiple significant decisions this past term that can unsettle long-standing legal understandings in multiple technology fields. These...more

Federal Court rules that Elected Official Violated First Amendment when Banning Commenter on the Official’s Public Facebook Page

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

The District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia issued a recent decision that that should remind public officials and employees that if they have social media websites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.), the websites may be...more

Municipal Officials: Mind Your Social Media!

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

When can a municipal official violate a resident’s free speech? By blocking their comments on a social media page (i.e., Facebook), used at least in-part to carry out public duties. The false sense of freedom to control...more

Use Caution when Monitoring Comments on Your School’s Social Media Page

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

Public schools should be cautious as to how they moderate access to and comments on their social media profiles. In Packingham v. North Carolina, the Supreme Court recently recognized that the Internet, and particularly...more

Distillations: The Slants Case, Distilled

by Fish & Richardson on

Oceans of ink and zillions of electrons have been spilled commenting on the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Matal v. Tam, in which the Court held that the Trademark Act’s prohibition on registration of “disparaging” marks...more

Federal Trademark Registration, the First Amendment, and Freedom of Speech: Part I

Looking forward to sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (counsel for Simon Tam, where our friend Ron Coleman is a partner) to discuss “Trademark Registration and the First Amendment,” on September 28th at...more

The Crisis of Free Speech on Campus: Not Fake News

by Jackson Walker on

A recent column in the Detroit News, by John Patrick Leary, an assistant professor of English at Wayne State University, advanced the proposition that concern over the recent protests on campus over free speech is a...more

What the *TM*?!?! The Disparagement Clause has been Bleeped.

by Knobbe Martens on

Trademark law is an important form of protection for the fashion and beauty industry. It protects both brand owners and consumers by regulating the registration of brands, or source identifiers, of fashion and beauty...more

The First Amendment Protects The Trademark Registrability Of THE SLANTS And THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS Irrespective Of Political...

by Weintraub Tobin on

In 2014, the Washington Redskins lost a battle before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) where the petitioner, a group of Native American activists, sought cancellation of the “Washington Redskins” trademark, which...more

Mark Madness: Avoiding Trademark Landmines in College Sports

by Patrick Law Group, LLC on

Recently, the Washington Post reported on a Maryland high school’s thwarted attempt to expand its use of a green hornet mascot logo which resembles Georgia Tech’s famous “Buzz” mascot trademark. The Damascus Swarmin’ Hornets...more

MoFo IP Newsletter - July 2017

by Morrison & Foerster LLP on

Supreme Court Hits Reset on Patent Venue Law in TC Heartland - In the recent TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC decision, the Supreme Court reversed nearly thirty years of patent venue law and held that a...more

Interesting and Useful Cases in Torts and Insurance - April 2017 in the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

Each month, Nexsen Pruet attorney Marc Manos, a member of the SC Bar Torts and Insurance Practice Section Council, sheds light on a few recent cases from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, focused in the area of Torts &...more

Digital Disruptions: Handling Social Media Misuse By Students And Educators

by Fisher Phillips on

Beginning with the launch of Myspace and Facebook in the early part of the last decade, social media communication has taken the world by storm. Today, social media networking is the primary means of communicating about one’s...more

Intellectual Property Law - July 2017

SCOTUS: For Patent Venue, Domestic Corporations ‘Reside’ Where Incorporated - Why it matters: On May 22, 2017, the Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC—rejecting...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

Three Questions from the Supreme Court’s Decision on “Offensive” Trademarks

by Dickinson Wright on

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Trademark Office may not refuse federal registration to a trademark merely because the mark is “disparaging.” The decision has attracted a lot of media attention, much of it...more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

Associated Press Files Anti-SLAPP Motion in DC Federal Court Diversity Case

by LeClairRyan on

In January, I wrote about the DC Court of Appeals’ then-recent Mann decision, and specifically about the Court’s response to the DC Circuit’s Abbas decision, which held that the DC anti-SLAPP statute could not apply in a...more

Supreme Court Rules Trademarks are Protected by First Amendment's Free Speech Clause

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Trademarks do not constitute government speech, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled. Instead, trademarks qualify as speech protected by the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. As a result, the government cannot reject a...more

Offensive Trademarks Are Protected Free Speech Under The First Amendment

by Weintraub Tobin on

Simon Tam is the lead singer of the rock group call “The Slants’, which is composed of Asian-Americans. Tam applied for federal trademark registration of the band’s name. While the term “slants” is a derogatory term for...more

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