Supreme Court strikes down law blocking disparaging trademarks

Bush admin officials can’t be held liable for post-9/11 Muslim profiling & abuse SCOTUS rules
Yuri Gripas Reuters
Author

20 June, 2017

The Supreme Court on Monday sided with Asian-American dance-rock band The Slants in striking down a provision in trademark law that banned the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) from registering disparaging names.

After the government rejected The Slants' request, Tam appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which in 2015 ruled that the so-called disparagement provision of the 1946 law governing trademarks ran afoul of the Constitution's guarantee of free speech. Courts had long ruled that it didn't violate the First Amendment because it doesn't actually bar the real-life use of the offending mark, nor does it prevent the owner from enforcing common law trademark rights.

The case has drawn intense interest as it focused on the rights of free speech enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution, at a time of heightened racial tensions in the country.

The justices ruled that the 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes free speech rights.

In his opinion for the court, Justice Samuel Alito rejected arguments that trademarks are government speech, not private speech.

That appears to mean that the Redskins also will be able to continue using their name, even though it offends people as well.

The NFL team's appeal has not yet been heard by a federal appeals court in Richmond, Va.

Trump causing a global leadership vacuum — Former UN chief
During Obama's tenure, U.S. carbon emissions decreased while the economy strengthened, and both GDP and employment increased. In the communique, the USA added a footnote saying it's taking its own steps to reduce the country's carbon footprint.


Kane scores late in England's 2-2 draw vs Scotland
Three Lions substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain looked to have set the visitors on course for a World Cup qualifying victory with a 70th-minute opener.


New UK election only alternative to deal with DUP
I'm ready for another general election", Corbyn said. "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage". Downing Street said it hopes to finalize the deal next week, after Parliament resumes sitting.


Dan Snyder, the team's owner, has said that the name "represents honor, represents respect, represents pride".

Tam said the band was "beyond humbled and thrilled" with the ruling.

The trademark office canceled the football team's lucrative trademarks in 2014 after ruling that the word "Redskins" was an insult to Native Americans.

"The Supreme Court vindicated the team's position that the First Amendment blocks the government from denying or cancelling a trademark registration based on the government's opinion", Blatt told the Associated Press.

Redskins attorney Lisa Blatt said the team was "thrilled" with the court's decision. As Justice Alito noted in the court's opinion on the case, Tam maintained that naming the band after a slur was an attempt from a member of a marginalized community to reclaim a derogatory phrase used to oppress and strip it of its power.

"A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all", writes Kennedy. The band's lawyers argued that the government can not use trademark law to impose burdens on free speech to protect listeners from offense.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office appealed that ruling to the high court in April, and the justices granted certiorari in September. The protections include blocking the sale of counterfeit merchandise and working to pursue a brand development strategy.


More news


  • Donald Trump confirms he is under investigation for firing James Comey

    The White House referred to Trump's outside legal counsel when asked if the president was specifically referring to Rosenstein . The tweet marked the first public, official confirmation that the president is under investigation for firing Comey in May.
    New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

    New smart speaker expected as Apple kicks off conference

    Daryanani said Apple may also announce an iPad Pro with a faster processor in an attempt to revive its long-slumping tablet sales. Like Amazon's Echo and the Google Home speakers , users interact with the new device via voice commands.

    Trump's fight with London mayor perplexes his critics

    The mayor had told London residents not to be concerned by a stepped-up police presence in the city after the incident. This time, Trump took a dig at London's Mayor , Sadiq Khan.
  • President blasts reports he's under investigation

    The Washington Post previously reported that Trump also asked Rogers and Coats to push back against the FBI's investigation. Mr Comey told Congress last week he believed he was sacked by Mr Trump to undermine the agency's Russian Federation probe.
    Mike Pence accuses Venezuela government of abuse of power

    Mike Pence accuses Venezuela government of abuse of power

    Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia Richard Cullen , who is chairman of McGuire Woods, the Post reported . Richard Cullen has a long record as a high-profile attorney in Washington, particularly in Republican circles.
    Eddie Lacy Reportedly Passes Seahawks Weigh-In, Earns Contract Bonus

    Eddie Lacy Reportedly Passes Seahawks Weigh-In, Earns Contract Bonus

    Lacy signed an incentive-laden, one-year deal with the Seahawks which pays out salary bonuses for keeping his weight in check. Lacy ranked first, though in limited time, in the National Football League in yards-after-contact in 2016 at 2.8.
  • Georgia fugitives reach road's end: a driveway in Tennessee

    Georgia fugitives reach road's end: a driveway in Tennessee

    They ultimately left the truck in Tennessee and stole a white sedan, which they abandoned near the hostages' home, Swing said. A different homeowner who later spotted the inmates trying to steal his vehicle held them at gunpoint until officers arrived.

    Apple allows in-app tipping for content creators

    In some parts of the world - notably China - tipping through apps has become very popular. Plus, once the user leaves a rating, the prompt will never appear again.

    Jeremy Corbyn enjoys kickabout as politics takes a backseat

    On the other hand, the opposition Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn has gained a significant number of seats and revived itself. Mrs May has reached a "confidence and supply" agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party ( DUP ).
  • Supermassive Games Announce Hidden Agenda for PlayLink

    Supermassive Games Announce Hidden Agenda for PlayLink

    Hidden Agenda is a murder mystery game created by the developers and as implied, it is a game where everyone has a hidden agenda . Sony showed off a new phone app this year that will potentially change the way you play multiplayer games called PlayLink .
    US soldiers killed by Afghan army soldier in insider attack

    US soldiers killed by Afghan army soldier in insider attack

    In a statement, the Pentagon said the wounded soldier had been evacuated for treatment and the incident was under investigation. The latest attack comes as US President Donald Trump's administration is considering sending more troops to Afghanistan.
    Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

    Predators on brink as Rinne struggles again in Pittsburgh

    They did it past year when they were up 3-1 in the Stanley Cup Final going into Game 5 at home against the San Jose Sharks. But Rinne struggled again Thursday in Pittsburgh , a place where he's never started and won in six career games.