On June 19, 2017 the US Supreme Court in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S._ (2017), affirmed the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Simon Tam, the lead singer of the Asian rock group “The Slants”, chose the name in order to “reclaim” the term an drain its denigrating force as a…

The en banc U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“CAFC”) has struck down a provision of the Lanham Act that denies registration for “disparaging” trademarks. On December 22, 2015, the CAFC ruled in an appeal by Simon Shiao Tam, who wants to trademark the name of his Asian-American rock band, the Slants.  The…

On April 9, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a large portion of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s ruling in Rosetta Stone Ltd. v. Google, Inc.  Rosetta Stone sued Google for trademark infringement of certain key phrases.  Google has an advertising program, AdWords, that allow third parties to buy certain…

The Washington Post reports that the Navajo Nation (the Tribe) has sued Urban Oufitters for trademark infringement in the US District Court in New Mexico. The Tribe owns approximately 10 registered US Trademarks that include the term Navajo for clothing, footwear, online retail sales, household products and textiles. Last year Urban Outfitters launched a line…

Attorneys for the petitioners who filed a complaint against the use of the term REDSKINS for the Washington pro football team filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the US Supreme Court on Monday of this week.In 1992, Suzan Harjo led seven Native Americans in petitioning the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) to…

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