Justices To Hear Free Speech Clash Over Offensive Trademarks
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Slants aren't exactly a household name when it comes to music, but the Asian-American rock band has made its mark in the legal world.
The Oregon-based group has spent years locked in a First Amendment battle with the government, which refuses to register a trademark for the band's name because it's considered offensive to Asians.
That fight will play out Wednesday in the nation's highest court as the justices consider whether a law barring disparaging trademarks violates the band's free-speech rights.
The case has drawn attention because it could affect the Washington Redskins in a similar battle to keep the football team's lucrative trademark protection.
The government says it should not be forced to register crude racial slurs, religious insults and profanity as trademarks.