On October 3, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not take up an appeal by the Washington Redskins regarding the constitutionality of a Lanham Act provision that prevents registration of trademarks that disparage “persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.” See 15 U.S.C. §1052(a).
The Court denied the extraordinary request for “certiorari before judgment” presented by Pro-Football Inc. (“Pro-Football”) – the name of the Washington Redskins’ corporate entity – who sought to join a pending litigation, Lee v. Tam (Case No. 15-1293) regarding the government’s ban on offensive trademarks. Had the U.S. Supreme Court granted the request, it would have allowed Pro-Football to leap directly to the high court even though the Fourth Circuit has yet to rule on the appeal in this case.