News & Analysis as of

Free Speech

Good Time to Try to Register that “#!$@*!ing” Trademark?

by Jaburg Wilk on

On June 19, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act (15 U.S.C. § 1051 et seq.) in Matal v. Tam (137 S. Ct. 1744), holding that it violates the First Amendment’s free speech clause. ...more

California’s Labor & Employment Changes for 2018: Part II - Court Cases Impacting Labor & Employment Law

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

California courts and Legislature greatly expanded protections for public and private workers in 2017, passing laws and handing down decisions regarding wages, rest periods, harassment, workplace discrimination and free...more

Cleveland Indians To Discontinue Use Of Chief Wahoo On Player Uniforms; Limited Use Of The Logo To Continue In Order To Preserve...

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Although the Supreme Court recently ruled that disparaging trademarks are protected by the First Amendment freedom of speech in Matal v. Tam, the Cleveland Indians have announced that they will cease use of their “Chief...more

Cannabis Branding and Free Speech Considerations

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

A recent out-of-court settlement following an 8th Circuit decision in Gerlich v. Leath highlights some of the unique legal issues that surround the branding of products in the cannabis space. In 2012, two students at Iowa...more

Washington Redskins’ Us Trademark Registrations Reinstated By The Fourth Circuit

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reinstated the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations originally cancelled by the Trademark Trials and Appeals Board (“TTAB”) in 2014 in...more

The Google vs. Equustek Decision: What comes next?

by Field Law on

The internet is borderless, right? So how does one country balance the rights of internet users within its own borders? And can a Canadian court reach across an international border to control the online conduct of an...more

Victory’s Motion Is Not A “SLAPP” Dunk: Petition Gathers Are Trespassing When Seeking Signatures In Front Of Store Entrances

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Synopsis: Ralphs Grocery v. Victory Consultants, 17 Cal. App. 5th 245 (2017), gives some solace to private property store owners. The Silver lining of the Victory Consultants grocery store decision—petitioners and signature...more

The Constitutionality of Criminalizing False Speech Made on Social Networking Sites in a Post-Alvarez, Social Media-Obsessed World

by WilmerHale on

The emergence of social media led to profound changes in the way we interact with technology and each other. Every day — often without thinking — we use social media platforms for myriad purposes, including to keep family and...more

Federal Circuit Bleeps Lanham Act Ban on Immoral or Scandalous Marks

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Following the Supreme Court of the United States’ 2017 decision in Matal v. Tam (i.e., the Slants case) finding the proscription on the registration of disparaging trademarks under § 2(a) of the Lanham Act to be an...more

Food & Beverage Litigation Update | February 2018

Cooke Aquaculture Fined $332,000 For Puget Sound Salmon Pen Collapse - The Washington Department of Ecology has reportedly fined Cooke Aquaculture $332,000 for violations of state water quality laws related to a net pen...more

Understanding The First Amendment

by Jackson Walker on

Hello. The First Amendment here. So many people are talking about me these days, including people in high office, that I thought it was time I spoke for myself. For my intro song as I walk on stage to speak for a minute or...more

Tenth Circuit Leaves Unresolved When Off-Campus Social Media Posts Can Subject Students to Discipline

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit’s recent opinion in Yeasin v. Durham, No. 16-3367, 2018 WL 300553 (10th Cir. Jan. 5, 2018), addresses the “tension between some students’ free-speech rights...more

After the Supreme Court Touchdown, Washington Redskins Are Finally Winning at the Fourth Circuit and the PTO

Two incredible things happened in 1992 for the NFL football team Washington Redskins. It won the Super Bowl and applied to register a trademark Washington Redskins. It has not been so lucky ever since. It has not won another...more

2017-18 Supreme Court Update

In the 2017-18 term, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide a number of potentially significant disputes relevant to businesses, including those involving constitutional protections, class actions and other corporate liability...more

Ninth Circuit Holds That a Prohibition on Credit Card Surcharges Abridges Merchants’ Freedom of Speech in Violation of First...

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision in Italian Colors Rest. v. Becerra (“Italian Colors”), upheld an as-applied constitutional challenge to a California law prohibiting retailers from imposing a surcharge on customers paying...more

Justice (and Lunch) is Served: Second Circuit Holds that Food Truck Branded with Ethnic Slurs is Entitled to First Amendment...

In a recently issued decision, the Second Circuit held that a food truck could not be excluded from a New York State lunch program solely because the truck and the food it sells was branded using ethnic slurs. Wandering Dago,...more

County of Ventura, California’s Permitting Scheme Stricken as Prior Restraint on Free Speech

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that Ventura County, California’s conditional use permit (CUP) scheme for “temporary outdoor” events is an unconstitutional prior restraint on free speech. ...more

Social Links: Facebook ups its facial recognition game; retracing Twitter’s 2017 missteps; YouTube stars’ fan bases reach their...

In order to comply with a new German law requiring social media sites to take down hate speech, Twitter and Facebook removed anti-Islamic social media posts authored by a German far-right political party....more

2017 Year in Review: Developments in Payments

2017 was a year of continued innovation in the payments space as the adoption of digital payments continued to increase. Below we highlight recent developments in the payments sector....more

Freedom To Surcharge—Ninth Circuit Rules Businesses Can Charge Card Fees

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Ninth Circuit upholds district court decision granting five businesses injunctive relief, finding that state law banning credit card surcharges is unconstitutional as applied to the five businesses. ...more

Does California’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Act Provide an Independent Right to Terminate a Beer Distributor Agreement?

by Mulcahy LLP on

The recent case of Mission Beverage Company v. Pabst Brewing Company, 15 Cal.App.5th 686 (2017), explores whether California law provides an independent right to terminate a beer wholesaler’s distributor agreement and whether...more

Trademark Law Update: Federal Circuit Strikes Down Lanham Act’s Ban on “Immoral” or “Scandalous” Marks

by K&L Gates LLP on

In June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam struck down as unconstitutional a provision of section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which had permitted the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to refuse to register...more

Ninth Circuit Rules California "No Credit Card Surcharge" Law Violates First Amendment

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

A California law that prohibits merchants from imposing a surcharge on credit card purchases violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has...more

First Amendment 2 – Lanham Act 0: Federal Circuit Holds Lanham Act Prohibition on Immoral and Scandalous Marks Is Unconstitutional...

by Fish & Richardson on

In the wake of the In re Tam decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, on December 15, 2017, the Federal Circuit held that the Lanham Act Section 2(a) prohibition on the registration of immoral and scandalous marks is a...more

Repeal of Net Neutrality? Everyone loses except the powerful

Web Access Through Corporate Control - The barrage of backlash booming around the repeal of the net-neutrality law by the Federal Communications Commission is facing an all-fronts assault. The communications companies that...more

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