Written by: Sam Crochet, Esq. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently reviewed the constitutionality of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) holding that a mark was unregistrable due to its “disparaging” nature. “The Slants,” an Asian-American musical band, attempted to register its name with the US Patent and Trademark Office. After the examining attorney and TTABrefused to register the mark under 15 USCA §1052(a), the Court of Appeals held prohibition on the registration of disparaging trademarks “significantly chills private speech” and that this instancewas not an acceptable regulation of commercial speech. The court used this rational to find, by a 9-3 vote, that barring registration of disparaging marks violates trademark applicants’ free speech rights.[1] It should be noted the Court of Appeals’ decision is not binding on numerous other federal courts with pending matters.Following years of heavy scrutiny and media fall out, the NFL’s Washington Redskins…       Read More