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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 -

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

Victory for The Slants and Redskins: Supreme Court Okays Offensive Trademarks

This week, the United States Supreme Court settled the issue of whether an offensive name, in this case, an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants,” can properly be registered as a trademark. The Court’s conclusion?...more

SCOTUS and the Slants: Disparagement Proscription of § 2(A) of the Lanham Act Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

A unanimous decision from the Supreme Court of the United States in Matal v. Tam affirmed an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional under the...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

Supreme Court Fells North Carolina Statute on First Amendment Grounds, Recognizes Cyberspace and Social Media As the Most...

by Jackson Walker on

Yesterday’s unanimous ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in Packingham v. North Carolina is one of the first decisions in which the Court has addressed broadly the relationship between the First Amendment and social media,...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

In Landmark Decision, the Supreme Court Strikes Down Key Provision of the Lanham Act that Prohibits Registration of Disparaging...

by Payne & Fears on

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S._ (2017), unanimously struck down the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C.A. § 1052(a), on grounds that it violates the Free Speech Clause...more

Social Media and Student Discipline – Where Are We?

The United States Supreme Court stated nearly 50 years ago that public school students do not shed their rights to free speech at the schoolhouse gate. In Tinker v. Des Moines Indep. Cmty. Sch. Dist., the Court struck down...more

Ninth Circuit En Banc Panel Holds that Central Hudson Survives Sorrell

by Reed Smith on

Last week we bashed a Ninth Circuit Daubert decision. We feel a little bit bad about that, not because the decision wasn’t bashworthy – no, Wendell really is a rotten precedent – but because we hate contributing to the...more

Even Disparaging Trademarks are Registerable

The Supreme Court recently ruled 8-0 that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) can no longer refuse to register trademarks because it deems them “disparaging” pursuant to a section of the federal trademark statute. ...more

Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Slants Rock Band

On Monday, June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court (“SCOTUS”) invalidated a 70-year-old provision of U.S. trademark law that previously barred registration of “offensive” trademarks. The high court held that the federal...more

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