It’s a weird case, but a victory for Free Speech! And great news for the Redskins!
Some time ago, we raised the issue of an Asian band that was denied a trademark to their own name. The reason?
It was racist.
The band’s name was ‘The Slants’. Yes, they meant that kind of ‘slant’.
So the bureaucrats got their panties in a twist and denied them the right to copyright their name.
It was a free speech issue. They took it to court. Then to the Supreme Court.
Would you believe they won? They did! Even in today’s PC climate!
The US Supreme Court has ruled unanimously in favor of dance-rock band The Slants after they argued that a law banning offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.
The Slants – who are all Asian-American – chose the anti-Asian slur for their band name in an attempt to reclaim the word and make it a positive term.
But they were denied a trademark until Monday’s ruling – which also bodes well for the NFL’s Washington Redskins, which is fighting an attempt by the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the trademark on its name.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has refused to change the team’s name in the past, saying it ‘represents honor, respect and pride’ for Native Americans.
On Monday he released a brief statement: ‘I am THRILLED. Hail to the Redskins.’
The court ruled 8-0 to throw out a federal prohibition on disparaging trademarks, saying that was a violation of First Amendment rights.
The band had initially been denied the trademark because the government deemed its name disparaging to people of Asian descent.
Monday’s ruling is great news for the Redskins, which took the name in the 1930s but in 2014 was told that a US Patent and Trademark Office tribunal was canceling its six trademarks.
The cancelations were made at the request of Native American activists, who said the name was disparaging to Native Americans.
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. –Read More
Free Speech for the win!
These are the guys that won a fight for your free speech. They fought the good fight. Why not give them a listen?