There is no exception for offensive speech. Period. Unanimous.
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a federal trademark law banning offensive names is unconstitutional, siding with a rock band whose name had been deemed racially disparaging by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In an 8-0 ruling, the court determined the law’s so-called “disparagement clause” violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment.
The case centered on Oregon-based, Asian-American band The Slants, which was denied a trademark because its name was considered offensive. The band countered that the 70-year-old law at issue violates free-speech rights — and Justice Samuel Alito, in the court’s opinion, agreed.
That should reverse the ridiculous ruling from the Patent and Trademark Office regarding the Washington Redskins.