Edition: Global  
One News Page
“Probably the fastest-access news portal in the world”
> >

The Slants Claim Victory As Supreme Court OKs Offensive Trademarks

The Wrap Monday, 19 June 2017
The Slants Claim Victory As Supreme Court OKs Offensive TrademarksThe 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 decision could destroy legal challenges to other controversial trademarks, such as the Washington Redskins football team.

The court ruled in favor of “The Slants” front man Simon Tam, who was rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office when he wanted to trademark the band’s name, citing a law that denied trademarks that disparage individuals, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.

The Slants’ frontman Simon Tam and his three Portland, Oregon-based bandmates are Asian-Americans who say they chose the name to re-appropriate the racial slur, and strip it of its hateful meaning.

*Also Read:* Can Racial Slurs Be Trademarked?

After an excruciating legal battle that has spanned nearly eight years, we’re beyond humbled and thrilled to have… https://t.co/O5ZNUfAy7Q

— The Slants (@theslants) June 19, 2017

Tam’s case pits supporters on one side who argue they are fighting for free speech rights, and opponents who warn a Slants victory will require government approval of all kinds of hateful racial slurs, including the N-word.

When the government grants a trademark to a business owner, the owner gains the exclusive legal right to use the name on products and merchandise such as T-shirts. But some say the government approval of trademarks confers more than a commercial benefit and suggests tacit government approval of the slurs.

During oral argument before the Supreme Court on January 18, the justices hammered both sides with questions.

Justice Elena Kagan asked whether the First Amendment rule that prohibits the government from discriminating against disfavored views applies to the trademark’s ban on “bad” trademarks.

*Also Read:* Typically Trump-Friendly 'Fox and Friends' Questions President's Twitter Habits

“The point is that I can say good things about something, but I can’t say bad things about something” in a trademark, she said. “And I would have thought that that was a fairly classic case of viewpoint discrimination.”

Justice Anthony Kennedy expressed skepticism at the government’s argument that trademarks are commercial speech that do not express ideas.

“We have a culture in which we have T-shirts and logos and rock bands and so forth that are expressing a point of view,” Kennedy said. “They are using the market to express views.”

Following the ruling, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) released a statement saying: “This is a major victory for the First Amendment, and establishes that the government cannot selectively grant trademarks based on its approval or disapproval of a speaker’s viewpoint.

“The Slants chose their name to reappropriate a racial slur used against their community, with the goal of deflating the word’s hurtful power. The government’s misguided effort to protect minorities from disparagement instead hurt members of that very community by hindering their right to compete in the marketplace of ideas. Fortunately, today’s opinion prevents the kind of absurd outcome that results when the government plays speech police.”

*Also Read:* Poll Finds 90 Percent of Native Americans Not Offended by Washington Redskins Name

Among those who opposed the Slants in the Supreme Court is the group of Native American who won cancellation of the Redskins football team trademark in a 2014 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, on the grounds that the name is disparaging of Native Americans.

The Redskins case was on hold pending the Supreme Court decision in the Slants case.

*Related stories from TheWrap:*

'Morning Joe' Counts Down Trump's 5 Most Self-Destructive Tweets (Video)

'Morning Joe' Rips 'Gross' Political Ad That Uses Scalise Shooting to Attack Left (Video)

MSNBC's Joy Reid Under Fire for 'Appalling' Steve Scalise Comments
Share on
Share on
Post on 
Share by
Source: Wochit News - < > Embed

News video: Donald Trump Wins A Victory on His Proposed Traveling Ban

Donald Trump Wins A Victory on His Proposed Traveling Ban 00:38

President Donald Trump has won a small victory. The Supreme Court has allowed Trump's temporary bans on those traveling from six Muslim-majority countries and all refugees to finally go into effect. But it will only be placed upon those with no connection to the United States. Although the ban is...

Recent related news

Floridian with floating house gets 2nd Supreme Court hearing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case brought by a Florida man who previously was before the justices for a dispute over his floating...
Seattle Times - Front PageAlso reported by •SeattlePI.com

Supreme Court denies Samsung's appeal in Apple lawsuit

Samsung has been fighting tooth-and-nail against Apple's victory in a key smartphone patent lawsuit, but it may have little choice but to pay up at this point....
engadget - Technology

You Might Like

Other recent news in US

‘Violent psychopath’ captured in CALIFORNIA after escaping from Hawaii hospitalDangerous HAWAII psychiatric patient flew to California
Feud With Neighbors May Have Led To Deadly CALIFORNIA SHOOTING RampageChina frees UCLA BASKETBALL PLAYERS held over 'shoplifting'
CARDS AGAINST HUMANITY versus Trump's US-Mexico border wallBlake Shelton is PEOPLE magazine's Sexiest Man Alive, but I vote for Colin Kaepernick
SEXIEST MAN ALIVE: Blake Shelton Wins People Magazine HonorZimbabwe army has President MUGABE in custody
Nearly 1.5 million people signed up for OBAMACARE plans so far: officialsCan NEW ORLEANS match the economic impact of WrestleMania 33 in Orlando?


Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2017 One News Page Ltd. All Rights Reserved.  |  About us  |  Disclaimer  |  Press Room  |  Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Content Accreditation
 RSS  |  News for my Website  |  Free news search widget  |  Help  |  Contact us  |  DMCA / Content Removal
How are we doing? Send us your feedback  |   LIKE us on Facebook   FOLLOW us on Twitter   FIND us on Google+