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A decision of the United States Supreme Court handed down in June 2017 made news headlines around the world (Matal, Interim Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office v. Tam No. 15-1293).   The issue before the court was whether Mr Simon Tam could register as a trademark his rock band’s name “The Slants”.  The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) had denied his application for registration because the mark was considered disparaging to those of Asian descent.  This finding was based on a provision in the Lanham Act which prohibits the registration of trademarks that may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute any persons living or dead.

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