Trademark AlertBy: Thomas F. Dunn & Sean D. Detweiler
December 23, 2015
On Tuesday December 22, 2015 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the denial of registration for “disparaging” trademarks under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act conflicts with the free speech protections granted under the First Amendment. This case, In re: Simon Shiao Tam, centers around the all Asian-American band “The Slants”, and has progressed in parallel to the widely followed Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc. case, regarding the REDSKINS trademark and the use of allegedly racially disparaging language and imagery. This new ruling by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit may have significant impact on the Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc. case, which was recently decided in the Fourth Circuit against Pro Football, Inc.
For more information on trademarks, please contact Sean D. Detweiler.