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Supreme Court says law banning registration of ‘scandalous’ trademarks violates First Amendment

On Monday, June 24, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling, struck down a provision of federal law that prohibits the registration of “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks as a violation of the First Amendment. The ruling, which unanimous in part and 6-3 in part, could open the flood gate to trademark applications seeking to register words or phrases that were considered vulgar, a concern that the court’s minority feared.
Justice Elena Kagan wrote the majority opinion stating: “[w]e hold that this provision infringes the First Amendment,” because it “disfavors certain ideas.”

Supreme Court says law banning registration of ‘scandalous’ trademarks violates First Amendment

 

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