Global  Video

“The world's speediest news portal”
One News Page
> >

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…

— 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...

You Might Like

Tweets about this

Other recent news in US

SOUTHWEST crash: Passengers praise pilot for safe landingNTSB: BLOWN SOUTHWEST Jet Engine Showed 'Metal Fatigue'
Former first lady BARBARA BUSH dies at age 92Barbara Bush SCHOOL in Mesa mourns namesake's death
BARBARA BUSH DIES at 92; IRS grants extension due to tech issues (10 Things to Know for Wednesday)CIA Director Pompeo Met With NORTH KOREA’s Kim Jong Un

Recent related videos

News video: Dallet says win a victory over special interests

▶ Dallet says win a victory over special interests

Liberal Rebecca Dallet says her victory in Wisconsin's Supreme Court race over conservative Michael Screnock shows that voters are tired of special interests and want to have a "fair and independent..
Source: WISC -

News video: Wisconsin Gov. Warns of 'Blue Wave' After Liberal Judge Wins Supreme Court Race

▶ Wisconsin Gov. Warns of 'Blue Wave' After Liberal Judge Wins Supreme Court Race 01:53

Rebecca Dallet, a liberal Milwaukee judge, easily defeated conservative Michael Screnock Tuesday in the race for Wisconsin Supreme Court.
Source: WITI -

News video: Democrat Cruises to Victory in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race

▶ Democrat Cruises to Victory in Wisconsin Supreme Court Race 00:40

On Tuesday, Liberal judge Rebecca Dallet cruised to victory in a race to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court for a 10-year term, beating conservative Michael Screnock. According to the Associated..
Source: Wochit News -

News video: Supreme Court Weighs In On DACA

▶ Supreme Court Weighs In On DACA 02:37

A legal victory for Dreamers and a setback for the Trump Administration in the ongoing battle over immigrants brought to this country illegally as children. Dave Lopez with reaction to the Supreme..
Source: CBS2 LA -

News video: Supreme Court Won't Hear Trump Bid To End DACA Program

▶ Supreme Court Won't Hear Trump Bid To End DACA Program 01:37

It's a victory for Dreamers and a setback for the Trump administration in the ongoing battle over the future of immigrants brought to this country illegally.
Source: CBS4 Miami -

Environmentally friendly: One News Page is hosted on servers powered solely by renewable energy
© 2018 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+