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Ruling: “Disparaging” Trademarks also apply to “Scandalous and Immoral” marks

February 12, 2016 --

millernashgrahamdunnllp-logoMiller, Nash, Graham & Dunn LLP
NW Law Firm

Here’s an update to my comment on In re Tam published a couple of weeks ago.

In a letter to a clerk for the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in the pending Trademark Office appellate case In re Brunetti (CAFC No. 2015-1109), the U.S. Department of Justice concedes that the CAFC’s recent decision in In re Tam forecloses enforcement of not only the “disparagement” provision of Lanham Act Section 2(a) but of 2(a) in its entirety, including the controversial also the “immoral or scandalous ” language as well. The letter, signed by Assistant Attorney General Joshua Salzman, an attorney advising the Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, was in response to the Brunetti panel’s order that the government offer an opinion on the impact of In re Tam on interpretation and application of Section 2(a) in its entirety.

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