Band’s Name Creates Trademark Problems

A Portland, Oregon based Asian-American band has encountered some interesting problems with the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office which has rejected giving the band the trademark for their name because of federal laws that reject names that might be construed as racist or offensive. The band jokingly calls themselves The Slants, which federal laws seem to view as a racist term, although the band has been involved in a four year legal effort to get a trademark for the name.  The band’s next stop likely is a court case taking the case to federal court. A few years back a lesbian-oriented motorcycle club, Dykes On Bikes, had to battle with the feds to use that name, finally winning their case. And in another case, a business used the name Heebs in it, which is a term sometimes used to disparage Jews, leading to a rejection of that name.

What can you say about all of this? With a name like Smucker’s it’s gotta be good?

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  • Commander_Chico

    WTF? Anyways, trademark protection does not depend on registration with USPTO.