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IP Alert
IP Alert: Federal Circuit Says Government Can’t Refuse to Register Offensive Trademarks

December 22, 2015

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a seminal en banc decision today in In re Tam. The case concerns Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which bars the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from registering “scandalous, immoral, or disparaging marks.” More background on the case can be found here.

In today’s decision, the court sustained a First Amendment challenge to Section 2(a), holding it to be unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment. The case generated two concurring and two dissenting opinions.

Fitch Even attorneys are studying the various opinions and will provide additional comments in an upcoming alert.


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