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Supreme Court to Rule on Whether Band Name “The Slants” Is Offensive

Several years ago, Simon Tam of Portland, Oregon band the Slants started trying to register his all-Asian dance-rock group’s name as a trademark. However, a federal law blocks the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from registering trademarks that may “disparage” someone or their “institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.” The patent office repeatedly rejected the band’s applications, ruling that “slants” was a disparaging term about Asians.
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