Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Major blow to academia.
The Supreme Court ruled this morning that the government cannot deny full trademark protection to allegedly racially offensive trademarks. The opinions are here.The case involved an Asian-American band called “The Slants.” It sought federal registration of that mark. The Patent and Trademark Office denied the application under a Lanham Act provision prohibiting trademarks that may “disparage. . .or bring. . .into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead.”The Court ruled in favor of The Slants. The vote was unanimous, though the Court split 4-4 on some of the finer points.