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Supreme Court Says Law Banning Registration of ‘scandalous’ Trademarks Violates First Amendment

COFFYLAW, LLC > Blog  > Supreme Court Says Law Banning Registration of ‘scandalous’ Trademarks Violates First Amendment

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.”

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