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The Slants, Scandal and Speech: Do the First Amendment and Trademark Law Collide?

The Supreme Court’s unanimous decision in Matal v. Tam struck the Lanham Act’s prohibition on the registration of disparaging marks as an unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. This panel evaluates the decision and contemplates its wider implications, including its applicability to the separate ban on registration of immoral and scandalous marks, anti-dilution protection and the broader intersection of intellectual property rights and free speech.


  • Ronald D. Coleman, Archer & Greiner P.C.

  • John Tehranian, Founding Partner, One LLP

  • Paul W. Wildman Chair and Professor of Law Southwestern Law School

By Ron Coleman

I write this blog.