Blog

Filter By:
Sort By:

Tag: trademark

June 20, 2017

Supreme Court victory for The Slants

We’ve been writing about Simon Tam‘s efforts to trademark his Portland, Oregon-based rock band, The Slants, for over a year now. As you’ll recall, Mr. Tam, an Asian-American, formed his band in 2006 and recruited other Asian-Americans to join in order to provide an interesting and entertaining platform to discuss discriminatio ...

December 13, 2016

Can the government decline to register disparaging trademarks?

Simon Tam is the frontman of the popular Portland, Oregon, band called The Slants. A few years ago Mr. Tam sought to register The Slants as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While the term has traditionally been used as a derogatory slur for persons of Asian descent, Mr. Tam (an ...

September 29, 2016

Supreme Court to hear The Slants' case

This morning, the United States Supreme Court issued the first orders from its September 26th long conference. Among the cases the Court agreed to hear is Michelle K. Lee v. Simon S. Tam. We have previously discussed Mr. Tam’s case here and here. Briefly, Mr. Tam is the frontman of the rock band, The Slants. ...

June 30, 2016

The Slants in the Supreme Court

As we noted earlier this year, The Slants–an Oregon rock band comprised of frontman, Simon Tam, and other Asian-American band members–was denied a trademark on the band name because the United States Patent and Trademark Office decided the name was disparaging toward people of Asian descent. In response, Mr. Tam sued and won before an ...

February 02, 2016

The Slants win First Amendment challenge

The Slants, a rock band out of Portland, was told it could not trademark its band name because it was “disparaging.” The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board held that the name “The Slants” was derogatory towards Asians, and would not give trademark protection to a racist band name. The leader of the band sued, arguing in par ...