Trademark Board Won't Register 'Slants' Band Name

By Bill Donahue (September 30, 2013, 3:52 PM EDT) -- A federal trademark appeals board said Thursday that an Oregon rock band called The Slants could not register its name because the term was a derogatory slang phrase for people of Asian descent.

The band members, who are Asian-American, said they picked the name to "take ownership" of an offensive phrase and redefine it in a positive way, but the United States Patent and Trademark Office's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board said in a precedential opinion that The Slants would still offend too many people for federal trademark status.

"The fact that applicant has good intentions underlying his use of the...

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