Enlarge / Portrait of Asian-American band The Slants (L-R: Joe X Jiang, Ken Shima, Tyler Chen, Simon ‘Young’ Tam) in Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Oregon, in 2015. (credit: Anthony Pidgeon via Getty Images)

The Supreme Court held today that the government can’t refuse to register trademarks because some may find the trademarked words offensive.

The opinion (PDF) in Matal v. Tam means that Simon Tam, lead singer of an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants,” will be able to trademark the name of his band. It’s also relevant for a high-profile case involving the Washington Redskins, who were at risk of being stripped of their trademark, but are now likely to retain it.

The court unanimously ruled that a law on the books holding that a trademark can’t “disparage… or bring… into contemp[t] or disrepute” any “persons, living or dead,” violates the First Amendment.

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