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Lee v Tam: The amicus briefs, in brief

Natalie Rahhal, New York


Natalie Rahhal analyses the arguments of the amicus briefs filed in Lee v Tam, ahead of oral arguments in the case involving disparaging trade marks at the US Supreme Court on January 18

Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Lee v Tam on Wednesday January 18. The controversial case over the respondent Simon Tam’s attempt to register a trade mark for his band, The Slants, has drawn much media buzz and 30 amicus briefs from government agencies, civil rights groups, law professors and other denied trade mark registrants.

Ian Heath Gershengorn, acting solicitor general, will argue on behalf of the petitioner, USPTO director Michelle Lee. John Connell of Archer & Greiner will argue on behalf of Tam.

Breaking down the briefs

Of the 30 briefs filed, 19 were in support of the respondent, seven were in support of neither party, and four were in support of the petitioner.

Tam’s mark for "The Slants" was denied on the basis of being disparaging. Tam and his bandmates are all Asian-American and claim that they are "reclaiming" the phrase to change its meaning....


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RT @EU_IPO: How many EUTM and RCD applications were filed in 2016? From which country did most applications come from? Find out: https://t.…

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Interesting article by former EPO Board of Appeal chair https://t.co/NLtbyK6xei

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