Justices say law on offensive trademarks is unconstitutional

Supreme Court pushes Redskins' name fight back to society

Supreme Court pushes Redskins' name fight back to society

The Patent and Trademark Office also filed a lawsuit, but the Supreme Court sided with The Slants, arguing that it violates the right of free speech.

The Supreme Court declared on Monday that it is unconstitutional for the federal government to refuse to register trademarks that can be considered offensive, according to Politico. The Trademark Office can deny any trademark that alludes to "immoral deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which way disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs or national symbols, or bring them unto contempt, or disrepute". They were able to successfully do that, and if the Redskins use a similar argument, there is a good chance that the courts will utilize the precedent set in the Slants case to rule in favor of the Redskins.

"It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle", writes Alito in the opinion.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder said he was "thrilled" with the Supreme Court's ruling, and team attorney Lisa Blatt said the court's decision effectively resolves the Redskins' longstanding dispute with the government.

Theband's front man, Simon Shiao Tam, appealed, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled the law unconstitutional, saying it violates the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech.

"The commercial market is well stocked with merchandise that disparages prominent figures and groups, and the line between commercial and non-commercial speech is not always clear, as this case illustrates", Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the majority opinion. But that ruling was overturned in federal court in 2003, and the case died when the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal in 2009.

Crews battle wildfire that forced Utah ski town to evacuate
In New Mexico , fire crews mopped up a blaze sparked by an abandoned campfire in the scorching Southwest heat. About 750 people were evacuated and a 15-mile (24-kilometer) stretch of Highway 143 was closed.

"Fortunately, today's opinion prevents the kind of absurd outcome that results when the government plays speech police", Rowland said. The decision could destroy legal challenges to other controversial trademarks, such as the Washington Redskins football team.

Summary: The Supreme Court has ruled that disparaging terms can be trademarked.

This has far-reaching implications, the least of which is that the Washington Redskins will now surely get their trademark back.

But Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo woman who has been the lead plaintiff in a yearslong legal fight against the team's name, said the fight is not over, adding that years of litigation have found that "the term is offensive".

'After an excruciating legal battle that has spanned almost eight years, we're beyond humbled and thrilled to have won this case at the Supreme Court, ' they said in a statement posted to their website on Monday.

The team's trademark registration was canceled in 2014 after decades of use.

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