Why you should always check to see if your business name can be trademarked. The Slants edition
The U.S. Court of Appeals has turned down the trademark request from Portland band “The Slants” . If you are not following the story, basically the band has been trying to get their name trademarked for the past six years, and has been denied each time. The Trademark Office is not allowing the name to be trademarked because it is deemed offensive to Asians. So much for the land of the free. The band is in a tough position. They have stated that when they go on tour, sellers will sell fake tickets with their name, as there is nothing protecting their band’s name.
The band is not giving up though. And I encourage them not too. They need to take this case to the US Supreme Court. As I have posted before, the US Government is not upholding the first amendment. They are actively trying to remove a already approved trademark from the Washington Redskins because someone was offended. Many media companies and popular journalist have said in public that the attack on free speech and free press in unprecedented under the current administration.
I am actually going to write to the band and ask if they want a Kickstarter or some other money raising platform to fund legal expenses. We need to take this case to the highest court, which I assume will still deny the band’s trademark, but at least it will be established that the US Government does not protect all speech, even though it has been sworn to uphold it. I know, political speech is not free speech, commercial speech is not free speech. Two individuals attack a Muhammad drawing contest in Texas, and now some are calling the event illegal, and that Pamela Geller did not practice free speech because she offended someone.
“I’m disappointed but not surprised,” said Tam
“It was almost as if the judge who wrote the opinion provided the rebuttal for their own decision – 24 pages of ‘Additional Views’ compared to the 11 page decision, indicates uncertainty,” he said. “It is disappointing that they continue to use false information and uphold questionable evidence, such as UrbanDictionary.com.”
This is why you want to make sure your name can be trademarked before you start to use it. I am sure the Slants did not see this coming. However as noted by Tam, the word “The Slants” can be trademarked by anyone, except Asians. The Federal Government is still actively promoting racism by denying one group and approving another based on their race. It is like affirmative action, we will hire you because of your skin color, and not on your skills or character. Is this what MLK fought for? Did he fight for the US Government to change from being racist against blacks, to be racist against whatever race suits them. No trademark for a Asian band, no promotion because you are white. From Tam:
The Trademark Office admitted that the term “slant” is not an inherently offensive one; the reason why they chose to associate me with a racial slur was because “it is uncontested that applicant is a founding member of a band…composed of members of Asian descent…thus, the association.”
Words can be offensive. So what. I have noticed a disturbing trend these past couple years, and that is that there are groups of people, or just individuals who’s whole career is to claim they are offended, or someone else is offending someone else. I say this is disturbing because it is working. Al Sharpton is just a example. He even has his own TV show on MSNBC. All he does is claim he is offended at xyz.