Potentially Offensive Asian Trademark Request Made After Slant Ruling

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Many predicted that following the Supreme Court ruling allowing the Slants to trademark their name, more offensive trademarks would follow.

Reuters reports that since the ruling on June 19th, a San Francisco entrepreneur has applied for a trademark of a slur against Chinese people.

Mike Lin says its a slur he was called as a kid and one that he wants to “take back.”

His company 47/72 Inc plans to mass market the slur on t-shirts.

Despite Lin’s stated intentions of trying to reappropriate something that’s bad, not everyone agrees this is a good thing.

Not speaking specifically about Lin’s application, John Yang, the executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, expressed concern.

“We are concerned that once you start to peel the onion there might be different stories involved,” Yang said to Reuters.

The debate continues about whether the Supreme Court’s Slant ruling will open up the floodgates for offensive trademarks.


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The Slants

“It is probably inevitable that there will be at some increase in the number of applications for disparaging, immoral, or scandalous trademarks in the wake of the Slants decision,” wrote Dickinson Wright for Lexology. “But the fact that so many marks of this kind have already achieved registration undermines the notion that there is a huge backlog of them ready to flood the Trademark Office.”

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