Ipse Dixit


Simon Tam on Trademark Registration

Season 1, Ep. 462

In this episode, Simon Tam, the founder and bassist for The Slants, an Asian-American dance-rock band, discusses his fight to register his band's name as a trademark with the USPTO, and how he helped changed trademark law. Tam begins by describing the origins and aesthetics of The Slants, including why he chose the band's name. He explains why he filed a trademark registration application, and why he chose to fight the USPTO's denial of his application. And he reflects on why he thinks the Supreme Court (mostly) got it right, when it held in Matal v. Tam (2017) that the Lanham Act's prohibition of the registration of "disparaging" trademarks violated the First Amendment. Tam is on Twitter at @SimonTheTam.

This episode was hosted by Brian L. Frye, Spears-Gilbert Associate Professor of Law at the University of Kentucky College of Law. Frye is on Twitter at @brianlfrye.

More Episodes