• Supreme Court Not a Fan of Trademark Ban
  • August 17, 2017 | Author: R. Gregory Israelsen
  • Law Firm: Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. - Washington Office
  • June 21, 2017 — On Monday, June 19, 2017, the Supreme Court held in Matal v. Tami that the disparagement clause of the Lanham Act violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, and therefore is unconstitutional. The disparagement clause—which prohibits federal registration of trademarks “that may ‘disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute’ any ‘persons, living or dead’”—the Court explained, “offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”