Supreme Court to hear challenge over offensive trademarks
WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court will hear a First Amendment challenge over the government's refusal to register offensive trademarks in a case that could affect the Washington Redskins.
The justices said Thursday they'll take up a dispute involving an Asian-American rock band called the Slants. But they didn't act on a separate request to hear the higher-profile Redskins case at the same time.
The Slants tried to trademark the name in 2011, but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the request on the ground that the name disparages Asians. A federal appeals court ruled that the law barring offensive trademarks is unconstitutional.
A Supreme Court ruling in favor of the band could bolster the Redskins' legal fight.
The government canceled the football team's trademarks after finding they disparage Native Americans.