Federal Circuit - The FindLaw Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

December 2015 Archives

Under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can't register "scandalous, immoral, or disparaging marks." That provision has been used to strike down the trademark for the Washington Redskins and to deny trademark protection to the all-Asian "Chinatown dance rock" band (and nutrition bar sponsors) The Slants.

The court upheld the USPTO's denial of trademark protection to The Slants in April, but reversed course on Tuesday, ruling en banc that the Lanham Act's "disparaging marks" prohibition is unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination. The ruling could have major impacts not just for The Slants and the Redskins, but for trademark law as a whole.

Federal Circuit Rules Changes? Speak Now!

The Federal Circuit recently released a proposed set of amendments to the Federal Circuit Rules of Practice and Procedure that are expected to be a major overhaul of the current rules. The rules are about 60 pages long and the edits themselves compose about six pages worth of red-lining and changes.

For those who have any interest in giving their input, you have till January fourth to comment on the proposed amendments.