Washington Redskins Not Allowed to Join “The Slants” in Supreme Court Appeal

Monday, October 3, 2016

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Tam v. Lee, 808 F.3d 1321 (Fed. Cir. 2015) to review the Federal Circuit’s decision striking down, as unconstitutional, Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act that prohibits the registration of disparaging marks.  The appeal involves the PTO’s denial of registration for the mark THE SLANTS applied for by an Asian-American rock band.  Today, the Supreme Court declined to hear the Washington Redskins appeal of a 2015 district court decision upholding the PTO’s cancellation of several REDSKINS-related trademark registrations as disparaging to Native Americans.  A win at the Supreme Court for The Slants could “hail victory” to the Washington Redskins.