Home / World / Supreme Court rules the Slants may trademark their name, striking down law banning offensive terms – Los Angeles Times

Supreme Court rules the Slants may trademark their name, striking down law banning offensive terms – Los Angeles Times

The Supreme Court extended trademark protection on Monday to words and names that may be offensive, ruling that the 1st Amendment right to free speech allows an Asian American band to call itself the Slants.

The unanimous decision will also likely preserve the trademarked and controversial name of the Redskins, Washington’s pro-football team.

In recent years, such trademarked names have come under attack as racially offensive. Since 1946, the U.S. trademark law has included a provision that barred the government from registering trademarks that may “disparage” people or groups.

The case of the Slants raised questions about government’s efforts to police names that may be offensive to one group or another. Simon Tam, the leader of the Portland, Ore.-based band, said he chose the name to make fun of a word that had been used as a slur against Asians, and thereby to “drain” it of any derogatory impact, as the court put it.

2:45 p.m.: This story was updated with additional reaction and other court rulings released Monday.

This story was originally published at 7:45 a.m.

Source: world

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