The Morning Risk Report: Redskins’ Ruling Could Spur Trademark Scrutiny
By Samuel Rubenfeld
The Wall Street Journal
June 19, 2014
Experts told Risk & Compliance Journal that the patent office’s decision had wide legal precedent. “It has always been well-established law that certain kinds of trademarks can be struck down later,” said Irina Manta, an associate professor at Hofstra School of Law who teaches classes on intellectual property. “The principle isn’t new; it’s going to happen again.” (Ms. Manta noted that she worked for a few months as a summer associate on an amicus brief related to the case.) The legal precedent underpinning the case doesn’t just concern disparaging based on race, she said; it also covers trademarks that attacked religious groups, for example. “Even if the case has not necessarily moved the substantive law by a lot, the fact that it was highly publicized could encourage public interest organizations and individuals to pursue more claims against trademarks they view as disparaging,” she said.
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