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is a Partner with Cooly LLP. He has more than three decades of experience in litigation and trial work in the areas of trademark, false advertising, unfair competition and copyright in domestic and international trademark counseling and prosecution. His clients range from trailblazing startups to established brands worth billions of dollars and include Tesla Motors, Nintendo, Lonely Planet and Yelp. He also provides advice and advocacy in other intellectual property fields, such as rights of publicity and internet domain disputes. He is also experienced in all forms of alternative dispute resolution and regularly serves as a mediator and neutral evaluator in trademark and copyright cases for the US District Court for the Northern District of California and by private engagement. For more information please see his firm profile page.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to review a Federal Circuit ruling that held unconstitutional a law prohibiting registration of trademarks that “may disparage” people or groups. In a case involving an Asian-American dance band’s bid to register its name THE SLANTS as a trademark, the court will consider whether the bar on registering disparaging marks in Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. In the meantime, the Court is expected to rule soon on the Washington Redskins’ cert petition in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse, No. 15-1874, challenging a decision of the Eastern District of Virginia upholding the PTO’s cancellation of the REDSKINS trademarks under that same provision.