Lanham Act—Disparaging Trademarks

Lee v. Tam, No. 15-1293

The Lanham Act provides that no trademark shall be refused registration on account of its nature unless, as relevant here, 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 U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit invalidated the statute as facially unconstitutional, but the Supreme Court has accepted the federal government’s request to review that judgment.