In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Slants’ case, trademark applications, usually dismissed as being “derogatory” are coming into the Trademark Office at an astonishing pace.
Formerly, the Trademark Office was deny trademarks for registration that it deemed “derogatory” or “offensive.” This reasoning was used to deny such trademarks as the WASHINGTON REDSKINS, STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA, F**K, COMFYBALLS, and NUT SACK, to name a few. But after the Supreme Court’s decision saying this was a violation of the First Amendment, several registration have been allowed and new ones have come in that were once “too dirty” to be registered as a mark.
Of course, as with any good thing, like the right to free speech, there are those that many perceive to take it too far. After the decision, a bunch of new trademark registrations have been filed with racists overtones including:
- a visual mark for the look of a swastika
- four applications containing the work “nigga”
- one application containing the word “nigger.”
Also, other formerly obscene word applications have come in as well including:
- two applications with the word “bitch,”
- two applications with the word “pussy,”
and I could go on for way too long of a time.
The decision just came down last week so I would expect an upward trend on these filings. Free speech is a pillar of our society and now the Trademark Office is left to the task of providing federal protection for symbols of hate like the swastika. It will be interesting to see if the Trademark Office tries to draw a line but, for now, the claim that something is a “bad word” will not get the automatic rejection from the Trademark Office going forward.