A fresh slant for 2016

By Roberta Jacobs-Meadway

A number of important decisions were handed down in 2015. A key theme for the year – and one that is yet to be resolved – was the constitutional debate regarding the Section 2(a) ban on disparaging trademarks

Last year saw several trademark decisions whose significance is only now beginning to play out, in particular B&B Hardware, Inc v Hargis Industries, Inc (135 S Ct 1293 (2015)), as well as Redskins and Slants, which heighten the constitutional debate regarding the Section 2(a) ban on disparaging trademarks. In addition, an earlier decision that was not even a trademark case – eBay Inc v MercExchange LLC (547 US 388 (2006)) – has continued to generate controversy since its application to trademark cases, affecting the manner in which they are approached.

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