Federal Circuit on the THE SLANTS: [Updated]

“Our new world — and welcome to it”

UPDATE: When this post was written, the world we lived in was one particular kind of world.

Then the morning of Monday, April 27, 2015 came, and we were living in a very different world.

I spoke about The Slants’, and my, transition to that world here …  and a few other places.

So, that’s The Slants’ juridical world now, their only one, and having said what I’ve said — which, you’ll grant, is plenty — while I won’t delete any posts, I won’t be commenting on the case any more on LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® until it’s over.

Remember when I said, and said, and said, the appeal involving the TTAB’s rejection of the trademark application for THE SLANTS was fundamentally about PTO procedure and hardly at all a matter of constitutional law?  And that the constitutional issue was, really, not necessary to reach for to find merit in the appeal?

I said that, right?

See?  This works fine.
See? This works fine.

I thought I said that.  I thought I wrote that.  I thought I argued that.

Evidently, however, someone wanted to write an opinion on constitutional law.  Maybe someone wanted to write it in another case, even, but that case wasn’t before that someone.  So someone thought this case would be a good substitute for that case.

So the issues we appealed on got an amount of shrift which you are free to measure for yourself, and THE SLANTS lost their appeal.

And you’re wondering, by the way, was it unanimous?  Is there a dissenting opinion, perhaps, such as might form the basis for automatically taking the appeal to the full panel?

Well, go to page 12 of the opinion, and tell me the answer to that.  I’m always interested in additional views.

Fed Cir refuses TM registration of The Slants for rock band as disparaging. Concurrence says law is unconstitutional. http://t.co/g6ztVXtbhL

— Mark Lemley (@marklemley) April 20, 2015

UPDATE, April 27, 2015, from the Federal Circuit:  “Never mind;  please come back soon.” See below:


By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

2 thoughts on “Federal Circuit on the THE SLANTS: [Updated]”
  1. Re full panel, yes!

    Also, an arcane point, but the Lanham Act does restrict speech, namely, the circle r reg. symbol and other notice of fed. reg., if the permissive 15 USC 1111 is interpreted by negative implication. I doubt that has legs, but it’s a technical point that seems to have been ignored in the cases I’m aware of.

    1. I’d rather call it a “nice” point, Mike … but lots of those have been quite officially declared not of interest to the court on this appeal!

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