DOCKET NO.
OP. BELOW
SUBJECT
Trademark
AUTHOR
Alito

Question(s) Presented

“Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), provides that no trademark shall be refused registration on account of its nature unless, inter alia, it ‘[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.’ The question presented is as follows: Whether the disparagement provision in 15 U.S.C. 1052(a) is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.”

Holding

“We now hold that this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend.”

Date
Proceedings and Orders
January 18, 2017