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Client Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Allows Registration of Immoral or Scandalous Trademarks

Cantor Colburn Client Alert

July 22, 2019

On June 24, 2019, in a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court decided the United States Patent and Trademark Office cannot bar immoral or scandalous trademarks.  Following another Supreme Court decision from late last year where the Supreme Court struck down a bar on disparaging trademarks, the Court stated that the USPTO’s ban on immoral or scandalous trademarks violated the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. In their decision, the Court held that to ban immoral or scandalous trademarks would discriminate against certain types of speech that the Government disagreed with and therefore should be considered unconstitutional.

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