Jun 19, 2017

THE SLANTS Mark Registrable as Prohibition of “Derogatory” Marks Held Unconstitutional By the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Building

By: Jim Bikoff, Darlene Tzou, and Holly Lance On June 19, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Matal v. Tam, 582 U.S. ____ (2017), unanimously holding the disparagement clause in the Lanham Act unconstitutional on the ground that it violates the First Amendment.  This decision upends over 70 years of practice under Lanham Act § 2(a) (15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)).  The case will likely have an immediate effect on other pending “derogatory” mark cases, including Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90091 (E.D. Va. July 8, 2015) (the “Redskins” case) and may signal… Read more

Oct 21, 2013

Mississippi’s Stop Payment Notice Statute Found Unconstitutional

Authored By: Darren Rowles and Scott Cahalan In several states, including Mississippi, California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Washington, subcontractors and suppliers are used to filing a “stop notice” or “stop payment notice” when they are not paid for work performed at a project.  See also North Carolina (lien on funds).  However, the recent holding in Noatex Corp. v. King Constr. of Houston, LLC, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 20656, 14-15 (5th Cir. Oct. 10, 2013), calls into question the constitutionality of stop notice statutes and the remedies they provide to lower-tier contractors and suppliers. A stop notice is a notice to… Read more