On Monday, the US Supreme Court ruled that a law which forbids official registration of offensive trademarks unconstitutionally limits free speech, an outcome the government claims could lead to a proliferation of racial slurs as sanctioned trademarks. The court ruled 8-0 in favor of the Asian-American band The Slants, which had been denied a trademark because their name had been deemed disparaging to people of Asian descent. The ruling is also expected to have a large influence on another high-profile case involving the NFL’s Washington Redskins. The team filed a legal challenge to a 2014 decision by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal canceling its trademarks as they were disparaging to Native Americans.
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