(WASHINGTON EXAMINER) The Supreme Court ruled Monday a disparagement provision of federal trademark law violated the First Amendment.
In Matal v. Tam, the high court reviewed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to deny a trademark to Asian-American rock band “The Slants,” a name deemed offensive by the government. The Supreme Court decided the trademark office’s effort to enforce the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act was unconstitutional.
“We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment,” wrote Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the high court’s opinion. “It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”