A Different Slant On The Slants' Trademark Dispute

Law360, New York (January 22, 2016, 10:46 AM EST) -- Somehow a routine trademark application turned into something much more, as arguments exploded over racism, ethnicity and the constitutional right to freedom of speech. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ultimately struck down a 70-year-old trademark statute as violating the First Amendment.[1] This story, however, is far from finished.

Simon Shiao Tam is the "front man" for an Asian-American dance rock band called The Slants. The Federal Circuit explained:

Mr. Tam named his band The Slants to "reclaim" and "take ownership" of Asian stereotypes … The band draws inspiration for its lyrics from childhood slurs and mocking nursery rhymes...

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