Justices Strike Down Law Banning Disparaging Trademarks
By Adam Liptak, June 19, 2017
WASHINGTON — In a decision likely to bolster the Washington Redskins’ efforts to protect its trademarks, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the government may not refuse to register potentially offensive names. A law denying protection to disparaging trademarks, the court said, violated the First Amendment.
The decision was unanimous, but the justices were divided on the reasoning.
The decision, concerning an Asian-American dance-rock band called the Slants, probably also means that the Washington Redskins football team will win its fight to retain federal trademark protection.
Of course, the lawsuit wasn't brought by the NFL or even the owners of the Redskins, it was brought by these guys—an Asian-American rock band who couldn't trademark their name either:
Here's a roundup of our earlier Redskins coverage (check out the hate they get whenever they tweet Happy Thanksgiving)