Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Intellectual Property Law

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Section Calendar of Meetings and Events

VSB IP Section - Annual Meeting Luncheon

June 16, 2017

Please join the IP Section Board for a section luncheon during the Annual Meeting.  During the luncheon we will have our annual business meeting, including voting on new officers and board members.

When:  Friday, June 16, 2017 at 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM

Location:  Hilton Virginia Beach Oceanfront Hotel

VSB Annual Meeting - IP Section CLE

June 16, 2017

Redskins, Slants, and Other Disparaging Trademarks: The Supreme Court Decision on the Intersection of Trademark Law and the First Amendment

Friday, June 16, 2017 (8:30 AM - 10:00 AM)

Location: Sheraton Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Sponsor: Intellectual Property Section

MCLE Credit: 1.5 Hours (pending)

Litigation related to the alleged disparaging nature of the Washington Redskins trademark has been going on for more than 25 years.  In the most recent case, filed over 10 years ago, Amanda Blackhorse and several other Native Americans petitioned the USPTO to cancel the trademark registration because the term is disparaging to Native Americans.  In 2014, the USPTO ruled that the registrations should indeed be canceled, and in 2015, the Eastern District of Virginia affirmed that decision.  The case is currently pending on appeal at the Fourth Circuit.

Meanwhile, in 2011, Simon Tam, founder of the all Asian-American rock band The Slants, filed a trademark application to register the name of the band.  The USPTO rejected the registration as being disparaging to persons of Asian descent.  On appeal, the Federal Circuit held the section of the Lanham Act prohibiting registration of disparaging marks to be unconstitutional under the First Amendment.  The USPTO petitioned for cert, which was granted, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to decide the appeal during the October 2016 Term.

John C. Connell – Archer, Haddonfield, NJ

Joel G. MacMull - Archer, Hackensack, NJ

Mr. Connell is lead counsel for Simon Tam in Lee v. Tam, currently pending at the U.S. Supreme Court, otherwise known as the Slants case.

Jesse A. Witten - Drinker Biddle, Washington, DC

Mr. Witten is counsel of record for Amanda Blackhorse and the other Native American individuals in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc.

Moderator:  Laura A. Heymann, Williamsburg, VA

Prof. Heymann is Vice Dean and Professor of Law at William & Mary Law School where she teaches Trademark Law and Copyright Law, among other classes.  She is also a member of the Board of Governors of the Intellectual Property Section of the Virginia State Bar.

VSB IP Section Fall CLE

October 13 - 14, 2017

VSB IP Section Fall CLE

Date:  October 13-14, 2017 (Friday, Oct. 13 - 1:00-5:30 PM; Saturday, Oct. 14 - 9:30 AM - 1:00 PM

Location:  Omni Hotel, Charlottesville, VA

CLE: 8.0 Hours (2.0 Ethics Hours)

Click Here to register and for the agenda.