1946 Lanham Trademark Act Case Study

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Back in June, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of an Asian-American rock band named “The Slants” and stated the federal government cannot ban trademarks, on the grounds that it offends, to do so violates the first amendment right to freedom of speech. While the rock band was trying to trademark their name as an act of “re-appropriation,” an attempt to reclaim a slur used against their community, the outcome of the court ruling has opened a door for those who would use this ruling for less principled causes. The disparagement clause in the 1946 Lanham Trademark Act prohibited the registration of any mark that officials consider disparaging or offensive to people, institutions, beliefs, etc. Now that the clause is deemed unconstitutional for

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