December 23, 2015
The federal law exclusion of "disparaging" trademarks violates the First Amendment, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said, in a case about The Slants.
now there's there will be a split in the circuits, because if the 4th Circuit went goes the other way in the case about the Redskins, so it's which will make it likely the Supreme Court will take the case. Eugene Volokh spells out why he thinks the Federal Circuit got it right. Super-short answer: It's viewpoint discrimination. The arguments on the other side are basically: it's commercial speech (and therefore entitled to less protection), and it's a government subsidy (and government can choose what speech it subsidizes).