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  1. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Rule against disparaging trademarks unconstitutional

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by Steerpike, Dec 22, 2015.

    Just reading through an opinion from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this morning. Trademark law disallows so-called "disparaging" trademarks. An Asian-American rock band called The Slants had their trademark denied because of it. Not only did the Federal Circuit overrule the USPTO, they went ahead and held the non-disparagement provision of the trademark law unconstitutional under the First Amendment. That's going to be good news for the Washington Redskins, who are also in a fight over this.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Does NWA have a trademark?
     
  3. Bookster
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    I agree completely with the decision, but then I'm an absolutist when it comes to the First Amendment (and the rest of the Amendments, come to think of it). It's long past time for the Obama administration to stop harassing the Redskins. If a large enough number of people are offended by the name, their business will suffer and they'll change it. That's the way the Market works.
     
  4. Adenosine Triphosphate
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    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    Let them use whatever names they want, and let people complain about it as loudly as they desire. The First Amendment protects both. Invoking it as a moral shield (for either side) against simple, non-violent criticism entirely misses the point.

    On a personal level, my sympathy is more with the band than the football team, but both should be (are) permissible legally, as is any non-violent opposition to them.
     
  5. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Have had an interesting exchange with Simon Tam of The Slants. He doesn't like the Redskins use, though it's not clear to me whether he thinks 2(a) should be valid in their case, or how he'd draw the line.

    Interestingly, I'm going to have a chance to meet Chief Judge Moore, next month. She's the one who authored the opinion in The Slants case. If possible, I'll ask her how she sees it as different from the Redskins (if at all). Maybe she'll answer.
     
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