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Supremes Strike Down Ban on Disparaging Trademarks

Courthouse News Service

19 Jun 2017

Trademark Group chair Jennifer Lee Taylor believes the Supreme Court’s ruling in Matal v. Tam is narrow and left the trademark community surprised at how the government focused its case.

“Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act proscribes the registration of immoral, deceptive, or scandalous trademarks, as well as trademarks that disparage others,” she said in the Courthouse News Service article “Supremes Strike Down Ban on Disparaging Trademarks.” “The opinion does not mention how its ruling might affect registrations of marks that are considered immoral or scandalous, but do not disparage a particular group, because that issue was not before the court. We can expect to see applicants claiming violations of their First Amendment rights when arguing against refusals of such marks in the future.”

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