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Team Mascots

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You Might Not Like This, But: The Supreme Court Rules that Trademark Registrations Cannot Be Barred Because Offensive

The U.S. Supreme Court has reminded us again that the First Amendment’s protection of free speech includes speech that might hurt your feelings. In a unanimous decision after a two year litigation battle, the Court just held...more

Intellectual Property Update: High Court Rules That Trademark Registration May Not Be Denied Due To Offensiveness

by Sherman & Howard L.L.C. on

In an 8-0 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court this week struck down a provision of the federal Lanham Act prohibiting the registration of trademarks that may “disparage . . . or bring . . . into contemp[t] or disrepute” any...more

Wahoo: Non-Verbal Equivalent of Racial Slur

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

The Cleveland Indian’s loss last evening in the World Series ensures that Chief Wahoo will not end the 2016 MLB season at Chicago’s Wrigley Field, but instead Cleveland’s Progressive Field...more

Supreme Court Set to Settle Dispute over Washington Redskins Trademark Registration

by Varnum LLP on

There has been another twist in the story of the long battle by Native American interest groups to obtain revocation of the U.S. registration of the infamous Washington Redskins trademark. This is another step in the 20-year...more

Hawking a New Mascot

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

The big mascot news over the past year has been in the NFL, as Washington fights to maintain its registrations for the REDSKINS mark. As that dispute continues, the University of North Dakota tried to put to rest its...more

Lawyer Who Started Fight Over "R-Word" Mascot Awaits Decision

About a quarter century ago, Steve Baird — at the time, a freshly minted graduate of the University of Iowa law school clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C. — was spending most of his free weekends working on an...more

Aggie-ravating Trademark Issues with College Mascots

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

Colleges serve an important role in American society, providing education, experience and leadership to each new generation. Also, sports. And did I mention SPORTS? Regardless of the reason (cable?), college sports have...more

Team Mascots: Balancing Tradition and Cultural Sensitivity

During my years at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign as an undergraduate student, the student body became embroiled in a heated debate about the continued viability of our team’s mascot. Our mascot was the...more

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