"We absolutely must protect and expand the First Amendment"
Asian American rock band The Slants have won their Supreme Court battle to secure the trademark of their name.
Earlier this year, the band was refused a trademark registration on the grounds that the name was too offensive. The group then claim that the First Amendment to the US Constitution does not allow the government to try to “protect” American citizens from being offended.
The case was then taken to the Supreme Court. In an interview with Resonate, lead singer Simon Young said, “the Trademark Office continued to use the false information, even at the Supreme Court.”
Pitchfork reports that today, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that disparaging trademarks should be permitted. It was concluded that the First Amendment “protects even hurtful speech.”
On The Slant”s Facebook page, Young wrote, “After an excruciating legal battle that has spanned nearly eight years, we’re beyond humbled and thrilled to have won this case at the Supreme Court.”
“We’ve had to endure the Trademark Office working in isolation of our groups to navigate the troubled waters of identity politics and shifting language and culture, without any sense of cultural competency, consistency in enforcement of rules, and only giving the benefit of doubt to the most privileged members of society.”
“Now, Americans can decide who should prevail in the marketplace of ideas rather than a lone examining attorney.”
The Slants dedicated their latest release, The Band Who Must Be Named, to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, voicing their opinions on the case. Lead track ‘From the Heart’ contains the lyrics, “Sorry if you take offense / You made up rules and played pretend / We know you fear change / It’s something so strange /But nothing’s gonna’ get in our way”