Dan Snyder 'Thrilled' with Supreme Court decision that benefits Redskins

Supreme Court Sides With Portland Band The Slants In Trademark Dispute

Supreme Court Sides With Portland Band The Slants In Trademark Dispute

In a firm 8-0 decision, the court slapped down the Patent and Trademark Office for denying a band federal trademark registration for the name "The Slants", a derogatory term for Asian-Americans.

The Washington Redskins are not likely to lose their legal ability to use their controversial name over trademark issues following Monday's ruling from the Supreme Court.

But in his decision, Justice Samuel Alito ruled against the PTO's interpretation of the statute, writing "The disparagement clause violates the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause".

This SCOTUS ruling protects Washington's First Amendment right to do just that.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly said that he will not change the nickname despite the opposition. A federal appeals court in Washington later found that the law banning offensive trademarks is unconstitutional, and the Supreme Court agreed in its Monday ruling.

The cancelations were made at the request of Native American activists, who said the name was disparaging to Native Americans.

The provision was not saved by the government's arguments that trademark protection was a matter of "government speech" or was a "subsidy" over which the first Amendment did not apply in its broadest sense.

Coveney calls for North deal to 'involve all five parties'
Mr Coveney said a deal was "do-able" but there were differences between the parties that needed to be bridged. Sinn Féin's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said her party was up for striking a deal.

Beyond giving The Slants the legality to trademark their name, the Supreme Court's ruling also has implications for several larger trademark disputes. Technically, they're still free to use the name without trademark protection, but that legal security is crucial for a multibillion-dollar sports franchise. After trademark examiners refused Tam's application, Tam brought a lawsuit, and in December 2015, he prevailed at the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

In support of the disparagement clause, the Government argued that (1) trademarks are government speech, not private speech; (2) trademarks are a form of government subsidy; and (3) constitutionality should be determined under a "government-program" doctrine.

The band says the name's meant to reclaim the racial slur and transform it into "a badge of pride".

The team's appeal, also on free speech grounds, was put on hold in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, pending the outcome of The Slants' case.

With the Supreme Court's decision, legal analysts expect the Redskins will eventually get their trademark back.

This is classic safe-space reasoning - the harm that would allegedly befall some portion of a group from encountering an offending trademark should trump the free-speech rights of the likes of The Slants. But the office canceled the registrations in 2014 after finding the name disparaged Native Americans.

The judgment was unanimous - with two asterisks: Justice Neil Gorsuch, who wasn't yet on the court when the case was argued in January, did not take part.

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