U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Redskins copyright appeal

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 03, 2016 9:53 AM

By Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal by the Washington Redskins challenging a federal agency's decision to cancel the National Football League team's trademarks after finding the name disparaging to Native Americans.

While the justices refused to hear the team's appeal, the issues it raises are part of another case that the court last week agreed to hear involving the Oregon-based Asian-American rock band The Slants whose bid for trademark protection of its name was denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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Both the band and the team have argued that a 1946 federal law barring trademarks on racial slurs violates free speech rights under the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.

(Editing by Will Dunham)