Slants founder Simon Tam attempted to trademark this guitar rock band name this year, however the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the floor it disparages Asians. A federal appeals court in Washington later stated what the law states barring offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.
The justices ruled the 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes freedom of expression legal rights.
Tam was adamant he wasn’t attempting to be offensive, but desired to transform a derisive term right into a statement of pride. The Redskins also contend their name honors American Indians, however the team has faced decades of legal challenges from Indian groups that repeat the name is racist.
In the opinion for that court, Justice Samuel Alito rejected arguments that trademarks are government speech, not private speech. Alito also stated trademarks aren’t immune from First Amendment protection included in a government program or subsidy.
Within the Slants situation, government officials contended the law didn’t infringe on freedom of expression legal rights since the band was still being free of charge the name even without trademark protection. This is also true for that Redskins, however the team didn’t wish to lose the legal protections that go together with an authorized trademark. The protections include blocking the purchase of counterfeit merchandise, and dealing to pursue a brandname development strategy.
The ruling is really a victory for that Asian-American rock-band known as the Slants, however the situation was carefully viewed for that impact it might dress in the separate dispute relating to the Washington football team.
Despite intense public pressure to alter the name, Redskins owner Dan Snyder has declined, saying it “represents recognition, respect and pride.”