Rock Band The Slants Win Supreme Court Battle To Trademark Name
A small Oregon rock band took their free speech battle all the way to the Supreme Court. And won.
The Slants are an Asian-American band from Oregon who say their music sounds like "Chinatown dance rock." The band attempted to trademark their name back in 2011, saying they wanted to change the derogatory term into a word of pride and were shut down. The US Patent and Trademark Office denied their request referencing a 71 year-old trademark law "barring disparaging terms." The band took their fight all the way to the Supreme Court. The slants believed that as the minority they should be the ones who should "determine what's best for ourselves." On Monday, the band won their case. The Supreme Court justices ruled that the trademark law infringed on the band's free speech rights. The justices said that the law was unconstitutional.
Lead singer of The Slants Simon Tam said he spent a one-fifth of his life working on the case but that he's humbled and overwhelmed. He also said that he's hoping people in the future will learn more about his band and their music, rather than the court case.