Why High Court Is Right About Offensive Trademarks

Law360, New York (June 28, 2017, 5:18 PM EDT) -- As an Asian-American, I have had a lot of hateful and derogatory names thrown at me throughout my life, and yet I found the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Matal v. Tam,[1] rejecting the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's ban on registering disparaging terms as unconstitutional, gratifying in many ways. But, let's start from the beginning.

The Slants is a rock band composed of Asian-Americans, founded by Simon Tam. The band filed a trademark application with the USPTO to register its band name as a trademark first in 2011 and then again in 2012 and was denied registration both times, based...

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