Judges consider disparagement versus free speech
Managing IP is part of Legal Benchmarking Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Legal Benchmarking Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Judges consider disparagement versus free speech

A session examining the interaction between trademarks and free speech included judges from three jurisdictions offering their perspectives on some hot-button issues and how their respective courts approach them.

Judges Kara Farnandez Stoll and Kimberly A. Moore, both of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Elisabeth Ohm, Deputy Director of the Norwegian Board of Appeal for Industrial Property Rights; and Yasuhito Okinaka of The IP division of the Tokyo District Court answered questions posed by moderator Rachel Rudensky of Akerman, LLP in the U.S.

The takeaway was that, when it comes to the line between disparagement and free speech, viewpoints vary widely by culture, venue—and even trademark examiner. While Norway’s approach is fairly liberal, marks considered offensive to a “substantial composite” of a particular group are often rejected by the USPTO, said the panelists. In Japan, any mark that is potentially damaging to “public order or morality” can be refused.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

In the first of a two-part UPC special, lawyers at A&O Shearman explain what you need to know about changes of procedural language and security for costs
Lawyers in the US and Europe reveal the work they focus on, how they stay one step ahead of creative counterfeiters, and why reputation matters
Abion said the appointment of Silvia Asioli and the launch of its Milan office will expand its market position in southern Europe
UK firms who have hired litigation and transactional lawyers reveal how they work together and the lessons have they learned
Jonah Mitchell tells us why he would have liked to have tried his hand at being a firefighter or chef
Noemi Parrotta, chair of the European subcommittee within INTA’s International Amicus Committee, explains why we might not have heard the last of the morality debate
Counsel say the USPTO's examples of AI patentability should make their lives easier and help point clients in the right direction
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Ehsun Forghany says he was impressed by the firm's focus on fashion and IP as well as the expertise of chairman Anthony Lupo
Counsel at medical device companies say the unitary patent, AI and terminal disclaimers are major areas of concern
Gift this article