A New Slant on Disparaging Trademarks (Live MBHB Webinar)

Tues., November 14, 2017 | 10:00-11:15 a.m. CT | Live MBHB Webinar via WebEx

Much attention in the trademark world had been directed to the fight waged by band member Simon Tam against the US Patent and Trademark Office for refusing to register the mark THE SLANTS for the name of his Asian-American band. Earlier this year the Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Matal v. Tam (previously known as Lee v. Tam), holding that the Lanham Act’s Disparagement Clause violates the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause, thereby affirming the Federal Circuit’s en banc opinion holding the same and handing Simon Tam a victory.

Join us for this 75 minute webinar during which we will review the background of the Slants case, discuss the highlights of the Supreme Court decision and explore the following issues:

  • Has there been a rush to the Trademark Office to register “disparaging” marks?

  • What is the status of the Redskins appeal, a case in which the same provision of the Lanham Act was involved?

  • What effect will the Supreme Court decision have on the remainder of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act that prevents registration of marks that are immoral, deceptive, and scandalous?

  • What has been the guidance from the Trademark Office?

  • Could the Supreme Court decision impact trademark dilution laws? 

  • Considering the bigger picture, could this decision push the limits of what society finds acceptable vis a vis trademarks?



Presenter(s): MBHB partners Eric Moran and Nicole Reifman


Access an archived audio version of this webinar here.

NOTE: MCLE credit is not available for this archived recording.

McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP is committed to educating clients and friends of the firm with respect to significant developments and trends in the areas of intellectual property law.