The Justice Department announced that it has let go of its efforts to strip the Washington Redskins of their federal trademarks.
The agency sent a letter to a federal appeals court this week noting that after the Supreme Court’s recent decision involving the music group The Slants that it would ultimately mean that the Washington Redskins would be allowed to keep their trademarks.
The United States concurs with appellant Pro-Football, Inc., that oral argument is unnecessary. The Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam, No. 15-1293 (U.S. June 19, 2017), controls the disposition of this case. Consistent with Tam, the Court should reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Pro-Football.
Simon Tam, the lead singer of The Slants, had a request to trademark the band name denied by the government on the grounds that it was deemed disparaging.
However, the Supreme Court said in its opinion of the Matal v. Tam case, which was written by Justice Samuel Alito, “Contrary to the Government’s contention, trademarks are private, not government speech.”