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Constitutional Law Keyed to Farber
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Matal v. Tam
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- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
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This case concerns a dance-rock band’s application for federal trademark registration of the band’s name, “The Slants.” “Slants” is a derogatory term for persons of Asian descent, and members of the band are Asian-Americans. But the band members believe that by taking that slur as the name of their group, they will help to reclaim the term and drain its denigrating force. The Patent and Trademark Office denied the application based on a provision of federal law prohibiting the registration of trademarks that may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute any persons living or dead.
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