IP at the Supreme Court Series: Lee v. Tam

Supreme Court Building

January 18, 2017
3:30pm | Room NT01

Reception to Follow


In PIJIP’s ongoing Supreme Court Series, a panel of counsel for amici and parties will discuss the case on the afternoon following oral argument before the Court.


  • Prof. Michael Carroll, American University Washington College of Law (Moderator) (Presentation)

  3:30pm – First Panel – Policy Discussion

  • Simon TamThe Slants, (Respondent)
  • Prof. Victoria Phillips, American University Washington College of Law

  4:15 pm – Second Panel – Legal Discussion

  • John Connell, Archer Law (Counsel for Respondent)
  • Joel MacMull, Archer Law (Counsel for Respondent)
  • Jesse Witten, Drinker Biddle (representing Amanda Blackhorse, et al. on amicus brief)
  • Prof. Rebecca Tushnet, Georgetown University (representing Law Professors on amicus brief)
  • Ilya Shapiro, Cato Institute (representing Cato Institute on amicus brief)


Whether the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a), which provides that no trademark shall be refused registration on account of its nature unless, inter alia, it “[c]onsists of . . . matter which may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute” is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment.


Decision: June 19, 2017
Argument: TranscriptAudio

All briefs available on SCOTUSblog: Lee v. Tam