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undergroundnewsroom.com October 23, 2017


American band win top court case over offensive trademark

21 June 2017, 07:12 | Ruben Thornton

Asian-American band win top court case over offensive trademark

Asian-American band win top court case over offensive trademark

They were responding to the high court's ruling in Matal v. Tam, in which Simon Tam challenged the government's denial of a trademark for the name of his band, "The Slants".

The ruling is expected to have a direct impact on another high-profile case involving the National Football League's Washington Redskins.

In its ruling, the court argued that historically, the Lanham Act has been applied inconsistently by the Trademark Office. But just as the Indians receive blowback for Chief Wahoo and schools like the University of North Dakota, Miami of OH and others moved away from Native American mascots, public opinion won't simply sway one direction because of the Supreme Court's decision. In other words, registering the name "The Slants" was disparaging to people of Asian descent and the PTO wouldn't grant the request.

According to the court's opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, "Contrary to the Government's contention, trademarks are private, not government speech". If the federal registration of a trademark makes the mark government speech, the Federal Government is babbling prodigiously and incoherently.

The remainder of Justice Alito's opinion was joined by the Chief Justice and Justices Thomas and Breyer. But in the same way that the First Amendment allows the franchise to continue to choose to use the term, the First Amendment allows me and anyone else to continue to choose to not use it.

"A law found to discriminate based on viewpoint is an 'egregious form of content discrimination, ' which is 'presumptively unconstitutional, '" Justice Kennedy wrote in a separate opinion.

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Will referred to a court brief filed by the Cato Institute in the case.

The Supreme Court rejected various arguments put forward by the government in an effort to avoid the heightened First Amendment scrutiny typically applicable to laws regulating free speech. As a result, the band has integrated activism into their work by raising awareness and funds for issues affecting Asian Americans. "Based on this case, however, we've since reconsidered our underlying position". In 2014, the team's trademark, "Redskins", was cancelled after the USPTO determined the name offended Native Americans.

The Asian American rock band The Slants are playing a happy tune after winning a landmark first amendment case in the U.S. Supreme Court.

The team said in a statement Monday that it is "thrilled" with the ruling in the Tam case, which it believes "resolves the Redskins' long-standing dispute with the government".

While Monday's decision from the Supreme Court of the United States that barred the federal government from asserting which names are offensive has been viewed as a victory for the Washington Redskins, a high school in northern in may provide an example of what the eight justices were trying to accomplish.



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