WASHINGTON – The Latest on the Supreme Court ruling on offensive trademarks (all times EDT):
The head of an Ohio American Indian group says a Supreme Court decision to strike down the disparagement clause in trademark law won’t affect efforts to get the Cleveland Indians to change their Chief Wahoo logo and nickname.
Philip Yenyo, executive director of the American Indian Movement of Ohio, says he does not think Monday’s court ruling will help teams like the Washington Redskins and Indians keep monikers that some find offensive.
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said earlier this year that he wants the Indians to transition away from using the red-faced, smiling logo.
The Supreme Court ruled in a case involving the rock band “The Slants” that the government can’t refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive.
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder says he’s “thrilled” about the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the disparagement clause in trademark law.
The unanimous opinion the court gave Monday to a case involving the rock band “The Slants” is expected to set a positive precedent for the Redskins.
The court has ruled the government can’t refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive.
Redskins lawyer Lisa Blatt says, “The Supreme Court vindicated the team’s position that the First Amendment blocks the government from denying or cancelling a trademark registration based on the government’s opinion.”
The NFL declined comment.
The Supreme Court says the government can’t refuse to register trademarks that are considered offensive.
The ruling Monday is a win for an Asian-American rock band called the Slants and it gives a major boost to the Washington Redskins in their separate legal fight over the team name.
The justices said part of a law that bars the government from registering disparaging trademarks violates free speech rights.
The Slants tried to trademark the name in 2011, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the ground that the name disparages Asians. A federal appeals court in Washington later said the law barring offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.
The Redskins made similar arguments after the trademark office cancelled the team’s trademark in 2015.