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Federal Circuit Holds That Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act for Disparaging Marks is Unconstitutional under the First Amendment

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, ruling en banc, recently held that the portion of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act that prohibits registration of disparaging trademarks is unconstitutional because “[i]t is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment that the government may not penalize private speech merely because it disapproves of the message it conveys.”