News & Analysis as of

Matal v Tam

It’s 2018: The Impact Of IP Decisions From 2017

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

2017 saw a bumper crop of Supreme Court decisions on intellectual property matters around the world including eight by the United States Supreme Court, two by the Canadian Supreme Court, and two by the United Kingdom Supreme...more

Significant Intellectual Property Trademark Decisions

by Harris Beach PLLC on

2017 was a year filled with significant developments in case law for trademarks. The below rulings highlight some successes and obstacles faced by companies in the protection of their trademarks and their brand as a...more

Brunetti decision paves way for offensive (even obscene) trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last July, in an article titled “Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks,” we reported that the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Matal v. Tam that the Lanham Act’s prohibition of disparaging marks was an...more

2017 In Review – Trademarks, Copyrights and Patents

Trademark Law - Let Them Register Offensive Trademarks! - In June of 2017, in Matal v. Tam, the Supreme Court held that the disparagement clause of the federal Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause of the First...more

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

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

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

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

Federal Circuit Finds Lanham Act Clause Banning Immoral and Scandalous Trademarks Unconstitutional

by BakerHostetler on

On December 15, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit struck down as unconstitutional the clause within 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) (“Section 2(a)”) banning registration of a trademark that “[c]onsists of or comprises...more

Scandalous and Immoral Trademarks Awarded First Amendment Protection

by Bracewell LLP on

On December 15, the Federal Circuit held that the prohibition on the registration of scandalous and immoral trademarks is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment. In re Brunetti, No. 2015-1109, 2017 WL...more

Federal Circuit Holds Lanham Act Prohibition Against Registration of Scandalous and Immoral Marks Is FUCT

by Dorsey & Whitney LLP on

On December 15, 2017, a Federal Circuit panel held the Lanham Act prohibition against registration of “immoral” or “scandalous” marks (interpreted to include vulgar terms) unconstitutionally restricts free speech, and...more

Tam Extended: Prohibition of “Immoral and Scandalous” Trademarks Unconstitutional

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently extended First Amendment protections for trademark applications in In re Brunetti, No. 15-1109 (Fed. Cir. December 15, 2017), ruling that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act’s...more

How Scandalous! Federal Circuit Holds Vulgar Trademarks Are Registrable

by Jones Day on

Trademarks will no longer be refused registration on the basis that they constitute immoral or scandalous matter. On December 15, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously ruled in In re Brunetti...more

Opening Trademarks to New Possibilities -- Federal Circuit Affords Immoral or Scandalous Trademarks First Amendment Protection

by Locke Lord LLP on

After the Trademark Office refusing registration for immoral or scandalous marks over the past 100 years, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently held that the provision of Section 2(a) of the U.S....more

Federal Circuit Strikes Down Statute Banning Scandalous and Immoral Trademarks

• The Federal Circuit held that the “immoral or scandalous” clause of Lanham Act § 2(a), which prohibits registration of a trademark that “consists of or comprises immoral or scandalous matter,” is unconstitutional under the...more

Federal Circuit Rules That Scandalous And Immoral Trademarks May Be Registered

by Brooks Kushman P.C. on

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Lanham Act’s prohibition on the registration of disparaging trademarks was unconstitutional. Matal v. Tam, 137 S.Ct. 1744 (2017). The Court in Tam ruled that trademarks...more

Refusal To Register Scandalous And Immoral Trademarks Ruled As Unconsitutional By Federal Circuit

by Ladas & Parry LLP on

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling in In re Tam that a refusal to register disparaging trademarks is an unconstitutional violation of freedom of speech reported on June 19, 2017, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit...more

Federal Circuit Makes Way For FUCT, Striking Down The Statutory Bar On Immoral Or Scandalous Trademark Registrations As...

On December 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit struck down the Lanham Act's ban on registering immoral or scandalous trademarks as unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds in In re Brunetti, --- F.3d...more

Federal Circuit Holds “Scandalous and Immoral” Ban Unconstitutional

by Snell & Wilmer on

Last Friday, in In re Brunetti, the Federal Circuit held that the ban on “scandalous and immoral” trademarks under 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) is unconstitutional. The decision follows the June 19, 2017, Supreme Court decision, Matal...more

After Matal v. Tam, Federal Circuit Rules On “Immoral” And “Scandalous” Trademarks

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

Continuing my ongoing coverage of the Lanham Act’s disparaging trademark ban, the Federal Circuit ruled today that the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2017 ruling striking down the ban on disparaging trademarks also applies to the...more

DYKES ON BIKES No Longer Idling After Matal v. Tam

by Winthrop & Weinstine, P.A. on

Simon Tam wasn’t the only one barred by the Lanham Act from reclaiming a historically derogatory term. Dykes on Bikes is a nonprofit lesbian motorcycle organization. According to their website, the group’s mission is to...more

Supreme Court Corner Q3 2017

by DLA Piper on

MATAL V. TAM - Simon Shiao Tam leads a dance-rock band and sought to trademark the band's name: The Slants. The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) upheld the PTO's decision not to register the mark under § 2(a),...more

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

Of course, loyal readers have been eagerly awaiting Part III of the series (see Part I and Part II) focusing on Tam’s intersection of federal trademark registration and the First Amendment....more

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

As the drum roll proceeds to the upcoming Midwest IP Institute in Minneapolis and sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (and Simon Tam fame) on Thursday September 28, in a few days, I’ll be making a stop...more

Gavel to Gavel: Scandalous and immoral (trademarks)

by McAfee & Taft on

Since 1946, federal law has prohibited registration of scandalous, immoral and disparaging trademarks. This summer, the U.S. Supreme Court found the prohibition on disparaging trademarks to be unconstitutional, creating...more

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