N/S Supreme Court Rejects Washington's Trademark Appeal [Update New SCOTUS ruling on separate case favors Redskins) (1 Viewer)

crosswatt

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Except for 1/3 of them - Cheif Wahoo, Aunt Jemina, Uncle Ben, Eskimo Pie and Chiquita Banana.
Wahoo, Aunt Jemima, and Uncle Ben have all been addressed in some fashion. I don't think that Chiquita Banana emulating Carmen Miranda makes the cut in the first place, although I admit that I could be missing something there.

I'll give you Eskimo Pies though. That's still bad.
 

PayOrPlay

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As the usually-reliable SCOTUSblog explains, the Redskins case is not over. The Supreme Court's latest refusal to hear the case is more likely based on procedure than on the merits:

Another high-profile denial came in the trademark case of the Washington Redskins, who had asked the justices to review a decision by a federal trial court upholding the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s cancellation of the team’s trademarks. The team’s request was unusual, because it asked the court to weigh in before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit had the opportunity to do so – a maneuver known as “certiorari before judgment.” However, today’s order does not put an end to the team’s case. Last Thursday, the court granted review in a similar case; the justices’ decision in that case will affect the outcome of the Redskins’ case, which will now return to the 4th Circuit. Justices issue additional orders from September 26 conference (Update) : SCOTUSblog
In other words, the Supremes probably turned down the Redskins case because it hasn't yet made its way through the lower courts, and they will be considering the other case, Lee v. Tam, which raises similar issues in the case of an "Asian-American dance rock band" called The Slants:

Lee v. Tam brings the world of rock music to the often quiet court. Simon Tam, the leader of the musical group The Slants, had asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the band’s name. But the PTO refused, explaining that the mark disparages individuals of Asian ancestry. A federal appeals court ruled that the provision of the federal trademark law that allows the PTO to refuse to register “disparaging” marks violates the First Amendment. The federal government (on behalf of Michelle Lee, the director of the PTO) asked the justices to review that decision, arguing that the lower court’s ruling would bar the PTO from refusing to register “even the most vile racial epithet.” Justices add eight new cases to docket for upcoming term : SCOTUSblog
The band's legal case strikes me as potentially more sympathetic than the Redskins', because the musicians make a credible argument that their name was chosen as an exercise in political satire to combat racial stereotypes (i.e., the name is actually relevant to their message). So the Skins might benefit from having the Slants case heard first. That is, assuming the Supremes can ever manage to rule on the case despite their depleted numbers.
 

superchuck500

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As the usually-reliable SCOTUSblog explains, the Redskins case is not over. The Supreme Court's latest refusal to hear the case is more likely based on procedure than on the merits:



In other words, the Supremes probably turned down the Redskins case because it hasn't yet made its way through the lower courts, and they will be considering the other case, Lee v. Tam, which raises similar issues in the case of an "Asian-American dance rock band" called The Slants:



The band's legal case strikes me as potentially more sympathetic than the Redskins', because the musicians make a credible argument that their name was chosen as an exercise in political satire to combat racial stereotypes (i.e., the name is actually relevant to their message). So the Skins might benefit from having the Slants case heard first. That is, assuming the Supremes can ever manage to rule on the case despite their depleted numbers.


The Court has ruled on the "band case" (the Slants) and it found that the "disparaging mark" rule is unconstitutional! In other words, trademarks are private speech and the Trademark office can't sit in judgment of what trademarks are offensive. While this case is about the Slants, a band, it clearly applies to the Redskins as well.

I think this pretty much ends the legal question of whether the Redskins should have a trademark on their name. Whether there is other social pressure is a different matter.

Opinion: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/16pdf/15-1293_1o13.pdf

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a law forbidding official registration of offensive trademarks unconstitutionally limits free speech in a case involving a band called The Slants, an outcome the government has said could lead to a proliferation of racial slurs as sanctioned trademarks.

The court ruled 8-0 in favor of Portland, Oregon-based Asian-American dance rock band The Slants, which had been denied a trademark because the government deemed the name disparaging to people of Asian descent. The band challenged the rejection as a violation of free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment, winning at the appeals court level before the government appealed to the high court.

The ruling is expected to have a direct impact on another high-profile case involving the National Football League's Washington Redskins. The team filed a legal challenge to a 2014 decision by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal canceling its trademarks as disparaging to Native Americans.
Supreme Court says law banning offensive trademarks is unconstitutional
 

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