In 2011, the federal government refused to grant Asian-American band the Slants a trademark because the name might be viewed as racially offensive to Asian-Americans. But on Monday, in Matal v. Tam, the Supreme Court ruled that the “disparagement clause” of the federal trademark law was unconstitutional. Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion on behalf of the Court noted that the clause “offends a bedrock First Amendment Principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”
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