The Slants: band name?

An Asian-American rock band wants to trademark their name, but are denied their request.. Why? Because they are Asian-Americans.

Washington Redskins? Allowed. Dykes on Bikes? No problem.

If a bunch of non-Asian-Americans chose that name, well “Slants” might not be assumed a disparaging term. Huh.

(If this is more Cafe oriented, maybe it should be there. Or the Pit. Seems like a debate to me.)

Seems to me that the the trademark office should not be making decisions based on ‘offensive’ or not - the market will determine the success (or failure) of a group if it is deemed offensive. Free Speech and all that.

‘Dykes on Bikes’ was originally also denied at the PTO, and that was overturned in court - you’d think that would send a signal.
What makes this cafe society?

They are tying to trademark a simple slur rather than a phrase using a slur, so that is a difference. Would they have been denied if they tried to become the “Dirty Slants” or “Portland Slants”?

Haha, Simon Tam. And patent officials citing urbandictionary? Priceless.

I wish them success in their battle. But I believe there is a special place in hell for bands that choose one common word, maybe with an article, and pretend that there aren’t already 100 bands who thought of that same exact name. Exceptions if you were formed before 1970, nowadays you should have Google and know better.

This brings to mind the brazenness of Prince, Madonna, and The Band.

I know, facetious and all, but:

  1. It’s his name, so it’s okay.

  2. She gets a pass due to being in Biblical times and birthing Jesus. :dubious:

  3. No, the Band and the The get a pass, if only because they were prescient enough to make it nigh-impossible to google them.

E.g. I like Nirvana, but did they really think that nobody else has ever used that name? I guess that hatchet was buried, and the original band is cool.

The Slants won their SCOTUS case. Likely further supports the Redskins in their ability to continue the Trademark on their name.

Relevant NPR Planet Money Podcast on the topic of The Slants.

8-0 unanimous decision. When you win that way, it’s a pretty strong indication that any losses you suffered along the way were, shall we say, not well-thought-out.