Federal Circuit vacates Slants ruling
The Federal Circuit issued an order today announcing that it will rehear the case en banc
In the order, the Court explained that it has vacated last week’s ruling that the application for the mark “Slants” for an Asian American rock band should be denied because it ran afoul of the prohibition against disparaging marks. Today’s order directed the parties to prepare briefs addressing whether this ban violates the right to free speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment.
Judge Moore penned last week’s decision denying Simon Tam’s registration of the Slants mark (Tam is a member of the band), finding that the term was a slur against Asians, even though Tam argued that the name was an attempt to reclaim the insult. However, Moore also wrote an “additional views” section, which the other judges did not sign on to, calling into question the constitutionality of the prohibition against disparaging marks.
For Managing IP’s analysis of last week’s decision, click here.