The First Amendment and Trademarks: Protecting “The Thought We Hate”

Can the federal government refuse to register offensive trademarks?  The Supreme Court held yesterday that it cannot.  Although the case did not directly involve the “Washington Redskins” trademark registration, discussed in previous blog articles in this space, it effectively gave the Redskins a victory

Last week, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) in Lee v. Simon Shiao Tam, asked the United States Supreme Court to reverse the decision of the United States Federal Circuit, which held that trademark law’s ban on “disparaging” trademark registrations violates the First Amendment.  On December 22, 2015, we discussed the underlying decision

On July 15, 2015, we discussed the decision of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse, et al.  In Pro-Football, the District Court affirmed a decision by the United States Patent and Trademark Office directing the cancellation of six “REDSKINS” trademark registrations owned by the