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PTO to Register Disparaging Marks, but Not Scandalous Ones

June 26, 2017, 9:11 PM

The Patent and Trademark Office June 26 issued guidance that it will lift a ban on registering racially or ethnically disparaging trademarks consistent with a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

However, the decision hasn’t changed the law on scandalous or immoral trademarks and those marks still can’t be registered, the PTO said.

The Supreme Court ruled that a bar on registration of disparaging trademarks is a violation of free speech rights. A federal appeals court is considering free speech issues related to scandalous and immoral marks.

In March 2016, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said ...