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Split en banc Federal Circuit rules disparagement provision is unconstitutional

Michael Loney, New York


The Federal Circuit has ruled that the disparagement provision in section 2(a) of the Lanham Act is unconstitutional, and reversed and vacated the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s holding that “The Slants” is an unregistrable mark. The en banc court was split, however, with a total of five opinions submitted

In a split 110-page en banc opinion, the Federal Circuit has ruled that the disparagement proscription in the Lanham Act is unconstitutional, and reversed and vacated the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s holding that “The Slants” is an unregistrable mark....


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