Redskins Eye Supreme Court to Overturn Trademark Disparagement Restriction
April 27, 2016 by Barbara Berschler
To update my earlier blog [Blog] concerning whether Section 2 (a) of the Lanham Act, 1946, which restricts federal registration of trademarks found to be scandalous or disparaging, will withstand challenges to its constitutionality, the Redskins football team has raised the ante by its unusual petition to the Supreme Court.
In the petition, the Redskins suggests that the Supreme Court not consider the constitutionality of Section 2 (a) until after the team’s appeal of an adverse District Court ruling is decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. However, in light of the decision by the Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit in In re Simon Shiao Tam-2014-1203, (“Tam”) that Section 2 (a) did violate the First Amendment right of an Asian-American rock band seeking registration for their mark–The Slants, the Redskin’s petition also asks, if the Supreme Court decides to hear an appeal of Tam, that it should also hear its case “as an essential and invaluable complement to Tam.” [Petition]
Watch this spot for more updates as this drama unfolds.