USPTO Says Slants Ruling Would Nix Scandalous TM Ban, Too

Law360, New York (January 22, 2016, 6:53 PM EST) -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office conceded Thursday that last month's Federal Circuit decision striking down the Lanham Act's ban on "disparaging" trademark registrations would mean that the law's prohibition on "scandalous and immoral" marks is invalid as well.

Last month's ruling found it unconstitutional for the government to refuse marks that "disparage" groups of people, but it didn't directly weigh in on the Lanham Act's related ban on "scandalous and immoral" registrations — stuff like profane, sexual and otherwise objectionable language.

Many speculated that the decision — in favor of Simon Tam and his rock band the Slants — raised...

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