Federal Circuit finds disparaging marks registrable – analysis and reaction

By Trevor little

In its reversal of a refusal to register THE SLANTS, the Federal Circuit has found unconstitutional the prohibition on disparaging marks. World Trademark Review compares reactions from corporate counsel, private practitioners and the applicant himself

The Federal Circuit has reversed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) refusal to register THE SLANTS for entertainment in the form of a musical group (see In re Simon Shiao Tam (Fed Cir December 22 2015)). According to the court, the specific portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act which prohibits the registration of disparaging marks is unconstitutional.

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Issue 72