Public Policy Limitations on Trademark Subject Matter: A U.S. Perspective
Cambridge Handbook on International and Comparative Trademark Law (Irene Calboli & Jane Ginsburg, eds., Cambridge University Press 2019 Forthcoming)
18 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2019 Last revised: 23 Oct 2019
Date Written: 2019
This chapter provides an overview of the public policy limitations on trademark subject matter under U.S. law. This is an area of law that had been fairly stable until recently. The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 decision striking down the prohibition on registering disparaging marks and its 2019 decision striking down the prohibition on registering immoral and scandalous marks may prompt a larger reexamination of the policy justifications for denying trademark registration.
Keywords: trademark law, First Amendment law, trademark registration, content regulation, public policy, disparaging marks, immoral and scandalous marks
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