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Two years after the United States Supreme Court struck down the ban on disparaging trademarks, the Supreme Court has now struck down the Lanham Act’s similar ban on the registration of scandalous and immoral trademarks at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Iancu v. Brunetti, No. 18-302, 588 U.S. _____ (2019). On June 24, 2019, Justice Kagan delivered the majority opinion of the Court, which voted 6-3 to strike the provision as an unconstitutional viewpoint-based restriction on speech that violates the First Amendment.

The First Amendment does not require the government to support disparaging speech, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) argued in its opening brief filed last week in the “Slants” trademark case currently pending before the Supreme Court. Lee v.