If that’s the case, then it’s illegal to disparage the totalitarian ideologies of Nazism and Communism.
That’s the problem with having activist judges sitting on the bench.
A federal appeals court is letting stand a decision denying a trademark to a website’s banner because it could be perceived as disparaging to Muslims.
The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a 2011 decision from the US Patent and Trademark Office against “Stop Islamization of America”—a decision raising constitutional concerns.
It wasn’t the first time trademark regulators enforced a little-referenced section of law that allowed them to refuse issuing a trademark if it disparages the “living or dead” or institutions, beliefs, or national symbols or places them in “contempt, or disrepute.”
However, the disparagement clause is rarely enforced. One of the last times was in 2010, when Lebanese Arak Corp. sought to register KHORAN as a trademark for alcoholic beverages.
The appeals court noted Tuesday that comments and essays on the sioanline.com site, and others operated by activist Pam Geller, were against mosques in the United States and supported people to drop their Muslim faith. (The site no longer loads.)
Geller, who made headlines for opposing a mosque near the World Trade Center, called the ruling a “complete whitewash.” But the appeals court said there was “substantial evidence” (PDF) that Geller advocated the “suppression of the Islamic faith.”
Eugene Volokh, a University of California, Los Angeles legal scholar, said his “tentative” view of the matter was that it was unconstitutional to exclude trademarks to brands that disparage.
More here. H/T: Vlad