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USPTO Will Continue to Suspend Examination of Applications Directed to Scandalous Trademarks

The USPTO on 24 May 2018 issued updated trademark examination guidance in which it clarified that it will continue its earlier practice of suspending the prosecution of trademark applications directed to a trademark that the office believes contains immoral or scandalous matter.  While lower courts have held that the relevant legal provision prohibiting registration of such trademarks violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution because it impermissibly restricts free speech, the time period for an appeal from the decision of these courts to the US Supreme Court has not yet expired.  The USPTO has clarified that it will wait until either the time period for an appeal to be filed finally expires or until the termination of any US Supreme Court proceedings that may be initiated before resuming examination of these suspended trademark applications.

Full details are available in the USPTO’s Trademark Examination Guides, here.

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