The government cannot censor trademarks on the grounds they may be offensive to some, the Supreme Court ruled Monday in a major decision that could also clear the way for the Washington Redskins football team to maintain its trademarks.
The Supreme Court declared on Monday that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to refuse to register trademarks that can be considered offensive, according to Politico.
The case has drawn intense interest as it focused on the rights of free speech enshrined in the First Amendment of the USA constitution, at a time of heightened racial tensions in the country.
The Supreme Court actually declined to hear the appeal of the Patent & Trademark Office decision to cancel federal protection of the Redskins name, but that was because a lower court had yet to rule, so it was more about the timing of the filing, which the court signaled was premature.
The justices ruled that the 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes free speech rights.
"Not only do trademarks function only minimally as a vehicle for expression, but trademark registration also involves the necessary participation of the government in approving that registration, which confers relaxed First Amendment review even when combined with the speech of a private party", the Obama lawyers said. It essentially kills any formal drive to legally pressure the team into changing its name. Alito rejected arguments that the government has an interest in preventing speech that is offensive to certain groups.
Wind howling as final round at Erin Hills gets under way
You won't want to miss a swing, so stay with us from 4pm BST, and soon enough we'll discover the victor of the 117th US Open . He'll have to improve on that today if he hopes to make the top 10 and automatically qualify for next year's U.S.
Tam said the band was "beyond humbled and thrilled" with the ruling. Snyder issued a quick statement after Monday's decision: "I am THRILLED".
In June 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademark registrations for the Redskins, saying the nickname is "disparaging to Native Americans" and can not be trademarked under federal law that prohibits trademark protection on offensive or disparaging language.
Lisa Simpson, an intellectual property expert, characterized the Supreme Court's decision as a slippery slope.
Justice Neil Gorsuch took no part in the case, which was argued before he joined the court.
Critics of the law said the trademark office has been wildly inconsistent over the years in deciding what terms are too offensive to warrant trademark protection. And the idea that our market will be flooded by people who just want to register marks on a whim is ridiculous. people have to have an established business goal, pay the fees, go through the paperwork and have their information in public.
- Escaped Georgia inmates caught in Tennessee after manhunt
- Iran kills terror chief behind parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini shrine attack
- Tropical Storm Calvin forms off southern Mexico in Pacific
- Republicans divided as Trump reverses some Obama Cuba policy
- Cuba calls Trump speech on island 'grotesque spectacle'
- Aisha Tyler leaving The Talk, still set for Criminal Minds season 13
- Air bag maker Takata to file bankruptcy this month
- Leishman in touch in US Open second round
- Brits retire from America's Cup trials race with damage
- South Korean coach Uli Stielike fired after World Cup qualifier defeat