Columns

Disparaging marks: The question of offensiveness

By Brian Focarino

The US Supreme Court’s decision to take up a constitutional challenge to the bar on registering marks that “may disparage” will have far-reaching implications for trademark practitioners, as well as the practice of trademark law

In 2016 the US Supreme Court agreed to review a Federal Circuit ruling which held unconstitutional a law prohibiting the registration of trademarks that “may disparage” people or groups. In a case involving an Asian-American dance band’s bid to register its name, The Slants, as a trademark, the court will consider whether the bar on registering disparaging marks in Section...

Issue 65

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Issue 65