By Jessica Gresko, AP, washingtonpost.com, 6-24-19
The Supreme Court struck down a section of federal law Monday that prevented businesses from registering trademarks seen as scandalous or immoral, handing a victory to a California fashion brand.
The high court ruled that the century-old provision is an unconstitutional restriction on speech. Between 2005 and 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ultimately refused about 150 trademark applications a year as a result of the provision. Those who were turned away could still use the words they were seeking to register, but they didn’t get the benefits that come with trademark registration. Going after counterfeiters was also difficult as a result.
The Trump administration had defended the provision, arguing that it encouraged trademarks that are appropriate for all audiences. » Read More