The U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling on Monday that protects trademarks that use offensive names under the First Amendment, which means banning them would be unconstitutional, the Gateway Pundit reports.
The decision was a win for an Asian-American dance rock band called The Slants, as the court voted 8-0 in favor of them.
“It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend,” according to Justice Samuel Alito.
It will likely be a victory for NFL franchise Washington Redskins, whose trademarks were cancelled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in 2014 following complaints filed by Native Americans groups.
While saying that offensive trademarks deserve First Amendment protection, the high court’s justices did not strip all discretion from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The case centered on the Portland, Ore.-based band’s denied trademark because its name was considered offensive. The court unanimously agreed that the 70-year-old law banning the use of such names violates freedom of speech rights.