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Is the prohibition on disparaging marks unconstitutional?

Peter Leung, Washington DC

The Federal Circuit affirmed the USPTO’s rejection of an application for the The Slants mark on the grounds that the term was disparaging to Asians. After drafting the court’s opinion, Judge Kimberly Moore penned an “additional views” section questioning the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

In re Tam  involved a registration for the mark The Slants by a member of an Asian-American rock band of the same name (pictured). The trade mark office rejected the application finding that the mark was derogatory and thus in...

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