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Asian-American band 'The Slants' asks federal court for right to trademark slur

January 15, 2015Podcast
AirTalk with Larry Mantle, 89.3 KPCC

Simon Tam, bassist for poppy Portland rock band "The Slants," wants a federal court to permit a trademark for the band's controversial name. Since 2011, the US Patent and Trademark office has refused to permit trademark for the Asian-American band's name because "slant" is considered disparaging. A USPTO attorney characterized the word as "a negative term regarding the shape of the eyes of certain persons of Asian descent" and "an inherently offensive term that has a long history of being used to deride and mock."

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