CAFC Vacates THE SLANTS Opinion, Orders En Banc Hearing
The CAFC has issued an Order vacating its April 20, 2015 opinion in In re Tam, Appeal No. 2014-1203, in which it affirmed the TTAB's ruling that the mark THE SLANTS is derogatory of persons of Asian descent, in violation of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. [TTABlogged here]. The CAFC sua sponte ordered that the appeal be reinstated and be considered by the court en banc. In re Tam, 114 USPQ2d 1469 (Fed. Cir. 2015).
The court's Order follows on Circuit Judge Kimberly A. Moore's inclusion of "additional views" in the CAFC's original opinion, concerning the constitutionality of Section 2(a), in which she urged that the court re-visit the CCPA's 1981 decision in In re McGinley in view of the subsequent evolution of First Amendment jurisprudence.
The court's Order requests that the parties file new briefs addressing the following question: "Does the bar on registration of disparaging marks in 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a) violate the First Amendment?"
The court indicated that amicus briefs will be entertained and may be filed without consent and leave of court.
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Text Copyright John L. Welch 2015.