Can THE SLANTS be registered as a trademark? In fact, there are many trademark registrations for the word SLANT. But what if the person who wants to register the mark is Asian? According to the PTO, then the mark may not be registered.
The applicant, leader of the musical band The Slants (SImon Tam), seems to be the victim of a policy that has at once narrowed, and broadened, the concept of forbidden "disparaging" trademarks. It has broadened the concept to include any mark that COULD be deemed disparaging, or any user that may ever have, in the past, made "disparaging use" of an otherwise inoffensive word.
And it has narrowed the standard so that, as set out in these documents, no matter what Simon Tam does or says in a trademark application, he, personally, is -- by all indications -- barred forever from registering these words, no matter how he uses them.
A notice of appeal to the TTAB has been filed.