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Friday, 25 August 2017

Registering the offending, offensive trademark

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Draining Offensive Words of Their Power

In the USA, recently, there was a case of Matal v Tam, which broke new ground. It was a case that established that certain previously unregistrable trademarks could be registered. 

Under the previous position, it was understood that the law allowed trademark applications in the US to be registered, except for certain exceptions. (Ref: 15 U.S. Code § 1052)

The Slants, an American band. They were the reason for Matal v Tam. 


One of these exceptions was if a trademark "consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute".

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