Access practice tools, as well as industry leading news, customizable alerts, dockets, and primary content, including a comprehensive collection of case law, dockets, and regulations. Leverage...
March 11 — Registration applications for trademarks that are scandalous or disparaging will be subject to “advisory refusals” until the constitutionality of a provision barring such registrations is resolved, according to an examination guideline issued March 10 by the Patent and Trademark Office.
Section 2(a) of the Lanham Trademark Act of 1946, 15 U.S.C §1052(a), prohibits the PTO from registering trademarks that are scandalous or disparaging.
However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in December ruled that the bar against disparaging trademark registrations is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech.
The PTO is currently determining whether to seek the Supreme Court's review of the decision.
The Federal Circuit's ruling came in a proceeding over whether an Asian American rock band can register “The Slants” as a trademark. The PTO rejected the application on the grounds that the mark was derogatory to Asians.
The issue has also come up in another case in which the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board found that the name “Redskins” as used by the NFL team in Washington is disparaging and thus not registrable.
If the Trademark Act's bar on registration of disparaging terms is a violation of free speech, it also raises the issue whether the bar on registration of scandalous terms is also unconstitutional.
The examination guideline states that while this question is pending, trademark examiners will issue only “advisory refusals” for scandalous and disparaging trademarks and any further action on such registration applications will be suspended.
To contact the reporter on this story: Anandashankar Mazumdar in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mike Wilczek in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
Text is available at: http://src.bna.clom/dgW.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)