Media Mention: "The Supreme Court, free speech and trademark law"

Raleigh intellectual property attorney Erica Rogers recently wrote an article for WRAL TechWire that was published on July 18 and can be viewed at this link

Rogers' article continues an earlier discussion of the application of the Latham Act's disparagement provision to bar trademark registration.  At the time the first article was written, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ("USPTO") had requested review by the United States Supreme Court of In re Tam, a case in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ("Federal Circuit") held that the disparagement provision constituted viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause. The Supreme Court agreed, recently announcing its decision in the case, now captioned Matal v. Tam.  As a brief reminder of the issue in In re Tam, The Slants, an Asian-American rock group, had been fighting since 2010 to register the name of their band with the USPTO. Their federal trademark application was initially refused because the USPTO determined that the term, "slants" disparages Asian-Americans.

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