News & Analysis as of

Supreme Court of the United States United States Patent and Trademark Office

The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary... more +
The United States Supreme Court is the highest court of the United States and is charged with interpreting federal law, including the United States Constitution. The Court's docket is largely discretionary with only a limited number of cases granted review each term.  The Court is comprised of one chief justice and eight associate justices, who are nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate to hold lifetime positions. less -

Supreme Court Preview -- Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's Energy Group, LLC

On November 27, 2017, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in two cases that were ultimately appealed from IPR Final Written Decisions issued by the PTAB. The first of these, Oil States Energy Services, LLC v. Greene's...more

Oil States Energy and SAS Institute: SCOTUS to Review Inter Partes Reviews

by Revision Legal on

As we recently discussed with respect to the proposed STRONGER Patents Act of 2017, legal debate continues to swirl around inter partes reviews. The US Supreme Court has entered the ring recently by accepting certiorari on...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

Top SCOTUS Cases Tech Companies Should Watch – Fall 2017 Preview

by Fenwick & West LLP on

The upcoming U.S. Supreme Court term promises to be a big one, featuring a patent case that could be a game changer for many clients and a host of other cases that may affect how tech and life sciences companies deal with...more

Federal Circuit’s Amicus Brief in Oil States

Although the Federal Circuit already passed on the constitutionality of Inter Partes Reviews, considering some of its recent decisions, it appears that the Federal Circuit questions the competence of the PTAB to conduct...more

Are Offensive Trademark Registrations On The Rise?

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In direct response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the constitutionality of section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which as enacted barred the registration of disparaging trademarks, there is reason to believe...more

The Washington Redskins Win Their Trademark Battle in Overtime

by Garvey Schubert Barer on

Simon Tam of the Asian rock band, The Slants, probably was not envisioning an 8-year-long legal battle when he chose the group’s name. Slant is known as a racial slur for Asians. Tam hoped to strip the term of its derogatory...more

In Matal V. Tam, Scotus Rules Prohibition On Disparaging Trademarks Unconstitutional

The Asian American members of the band the Slants adopted that name to “reclaim” and “take ownership” of the derogatory term. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) refused to register a trademark application...more

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

Looking forward to sharing the podium with Joel MacMull of the Archer firm (counsel for Simon Tam, where our friend Ron Coleman is a partner) to discuss “Trademark Registration and the First Amendment,” on September 28th at...more

The First Amendment Protects The Trademark Registrability Of THE SLANTS And THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS Irrespective Of Political...

by Weintraub Tobin on

In 2014, the Washington Redskins lost a battle before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) where the petitioner, a group of Native American activists, sought cancellation of the “Washington Redskins” trademark, which...more

Free speech legal battle changes law on disparaging trademarks

by McAfee & Taft on

Last month, in Matal v. Tam, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision that struck down a portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act....more

Three Questions from the Supreme Court’s Decision on “Offensive” Trademarks

by Dickinson Wright on

Last week the Supreme Court ruled that the Trademark Office may not refuse federal registration to a trademark merely because the mark is “disparaging.” The decision has attracted a lot of media attention, much of it...more

Band Trademark Can Rock On: Lanham Act Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by McDermott Will & Emery on

In an 8–0 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States affirmed an en banc panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and found the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act to be facially unconstitutional...more

Issue Six: PTAB Trial Tracker

by Goodwin on

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Decide Whether IPRs Are Constitutional - The Supreme Court has granted certiorari to answer the following question: Whether inter partes review – an adversarial process used by the...more

Supreme Court Rules Trademarks are Protected by First Amendment's Free Speech Clause

by Best Best & Krieger LLP on

Trademarks do not constitute government speech, the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled. Instead, trademarks qualify as speech protected by the First Amendment Free Speech Clause. As a result, the government cannot reject a...more

Offensive Trademarks Are Protected Free Speech Under The First Amendment

by Weintraub Tobin on

Simon Tam is the lead singer of the rock group call “The Slants’, which is composed of Asian-Americans. Tam applied for federal trademark registration of the band’s name. While the term “slants” is a derogatory term for...more

Bring on the Bad Word Brands? What the Supreme Court's Decision in Matal v. Tam Means for Trademark Owners

The Supreme Court’s June 19, 2017 decision in the Matal v. Tam case has been burning-up the news wires all week. The decision struck down a 70-year-old ban on federally registering disparaging trademarks, finding that the...more

Matal v. Tam: Supreme Court Rules USPTO Prohibition of Offensive Marks Based On Disparagement Clause Is Unconstitutional Under...

Historically, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has refused to register trademarks considered to be offensive in that they disparaged a particular person, group or institution. Now the PTO cannot deny the...more

What’s In a Name?

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

On June 19, 2017, Justice Samuel A. Alito, delivered the unanimous opinion of the United States Supreme Court (the “Court”) in Matal v Tam, No. 15-1293, Oct. Term, 2016, argued January 18, 2017. Simply stated, the Court...more

Trademark Act Offends Free Speech

by SmithAmundsen LLC on

The Supreme Court ruled that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) may not deny registration of trademarks on the basis that they are offensive or hateful. As previously discussed, in In re Simon Shiao...more

Supreme Court Holds Disparagement Clause Unconstitutional

by Perkins Coie on

In a much anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017) that a provision of the Lanham Act banning the registration of marks considered disparaging to “persons, institutions,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Statute Outlawing Disparaging Trademarks

by Akin Gump - Excubitor on

On June 19, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tam that a statute banning registration of disparaging trademarks violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Supreme Court’s invalidating the statute should...more

Is A Racial Or Ethnic Group A “Person”?

by Allen Matkins on

Yesterday’s post concerned the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Matal v. Tam, 2017 U.S. LEXIS 3872 (June 19, 2017) that the “disparagement clause” of the Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. As...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Trademark Registrations Are Free to Disparage

by Dickinson Wright on

Justice Alito’s summary opinion announced in Court Monday morning, in what has come to be known as the Slants case (Matel v. Tam, 582 U.S. ___ (June 19, 2017), was short and sweet but the trademark applications we can expect...more

Supreme Court Rules On Disparaging Trademarks

by Revision Legal on

For decades, the USPTO has denied registration to trademarks that are disparaging and offensive to specific racial or ethnic groups under the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act. The United States Supreme Court recently...more

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