ibusinesslines.com July 23, 2017

Dan Snyder 'Thrilled' with Supreme Court decision that benefits Redskins

26 June 2017, 11:39 | Laverne Osborne

Simon Tam of The Slants. Ariel Zambelich NPR

Simon Tam of The Slants

The decision has direct implications for the Redskins' dispute with the same office - the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which canceled numerous trademarks for the team back in 2014 over allegations the name is insulting to Native Americans. "The disparagement clause violates the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause".

Simon Shiao Tam, bassist for The Slants, spoke about his ongoing legal fight with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark his band name at the University of Washington.

But federal registration is important because it makes trademarks more secure, said Ronald Coleman of the Archer law firm, one of the lawyers who argued the case for the band.

The justices ruled the 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes on free speech rights.

Alito continued: "The proudest boast of our free speech jurisprudence is that we protect the freedom to express 'the thought that we hate'".

The Supreme Court ruled in a case involving the rock band "The Slants" that the government can't refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive.

"If Daniel Snyder wants to get any public dollars for a new stadium, the likelihood of him being able to accomplish that in this environment is really slim until or unless he changes the name of the team", Carter said.

The court argued that trademarks are private, not government speech, and therefore are protected. The government previously said a ruling favoring The Slants could lead to a proliferation of racial slurs as sanctioned trademarks.

'After an excruciating legal battle that has spanned almost eight years, we're beyond humbled and thrilled to have won this case at the Supreme Court, ' they said in a statement posted to their website on Monday.

Trademark office spokesman Paul Fucito said officials are reviewing the court's ruling and planned to issue further guidance on how they will review trademark applications. Tam appealed to the Federal Circuit, where the en banc court found the disparagement clause facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

The decision was expected to open the floodgates for offensive terms to be registered as trademarks in the US.

In a concurring opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the disparagement clause "constitutes viewpoint discrimination-a form of speech suppression so potent that it must be subject to rigorous constitutional scrutiny".

The case is also a big win for the Washington football team, which has been fighting a separate battle over the trademark of its name that uses a skin color to describe a certain type of human being. The protections include blocking the sale of counterfeit merchandise and working to pursue a brand development strategy.

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