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U.S. top court finds law banning offensive trademarks unconstitutional

Monday, June 19, 2017 - 01:19

In a decision that could benefit the NFL's Washington Redskins, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a federal prohibition on disparaging trademarks as a constitutional violation in a major free speech ruling involving a band called The Slants. Colette Luke reports.

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This Asian-American rock band can now call themselves 'The Slants', after winning a free speech case before the Supreme Court… On Monday, the U.S. top court threw out a federal ban on disparaging trademarks, saying it violated free speech rights…. Before, the Portland, Oregon-based band couldn't register its name with the government, because of the word's derogatory reference to Asian people's eyes…. But the bandmembers said they wanted to 'reclaim' the term and wear it as a 'badge of pride'… arguing that the government was violating their First Amendment rights... The Supreme Court agreed. This pivotal ruling could pave the way for the Washington Redskins football team to protect trademarks covering the team's name, which some Native Americans say is offensive... The NFL team, which first took its name in the 1930s, filed a legal challenge to a 2014 decision by the U.S Patent and Trademark office court canceling its trademarks as disparaging to Native Americans…. The lower court put the case on hold pending the high court's decision on the rock band... And now with The Slants' win at the court, the Redskins team may soon be able to also get its name trademarked as well.

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U.S. top court finds law banning offensive trademarks unconstitutional

Monday, June 19, 2017 - 01:19