Victory: after a long court battle for the freedom of speech, the Stop the Islamization of America trademark has been approved.
We have been trying to trademark SIOA (Stop Islamization of America) for a number of years, but were repeatedly refused, because it was falsely considered “disparaging” to Muslims. Longtime Geller Report readers are quite familiar with our First Amendment trademark case. It was, in effect, an application of sharia law (“do not criticize Islam”).
The USPTO rejected AFDI’s trademark application based on the following analysis:
(1) “Islamisation” means converting to Islam or “to make Islamic;” and (2), “Stop” would be understood to mean that “action must be taken to cease, or put an end to, converting or making people in America conform to Islam.” Thus, the trademark, according to the “Office Action” ruling, disparaged Muslims and linked them to terrorism. (AFLC)
From WaPo today: The court concludes that “Stop the Islamization of America” mark, as used by its promoters, is likely to be understood as “disparaging to a substantial composite” of Muslims, whether “Islamization” refers to conversion to Islam or to “a political movement to replace man-made laws with the religious laws of Islam.”
Other organizations suffered the consequences of these capricious, arbitrary rulings.
In the case In re Tam, the federal court, which specializes in patent and trademark cases, found that the USPTO’s rejection of the musical group name “The Slants” because it disparaged Asians was unconstitutional because there was no “compelling state interest” to censure the viewpoint of the trademark owner. As a result, Simon Tam will now be able to register his band name as a federal trademark, thus allowing him to protect the name and products and services sold using that name against encroachers and counterfeiters.
What made this decision possible was the recent litigation waged by the American Freedom Law Center (“AFLC”) on behalf of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer to register their trademark, “Stop the Islamisation of America” (“SIOA”). Like the Slants trademark, the USPTO rejected the SIOA trademark on the ground that it disparaged Muslims and even Islamists by suggesting they should be “stopped.” AFLC argued the case before a three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit Court, which upheld the USPTO ruling of disparagement.
Then in June 2017, the Supreme Court rightly struck down the law banning supposedly “disparaging” trademarks. This paved the way for approval of our trademark.
Here is the notice we received from the US Patent and Trademark Office:
NOTIFICATION OF “NOTICE OF PUBLICATION”
Your trademark application (Serial No.86857969) is scheduled to publish in the Official Gazette on Oct 3, 2017 . To preview the Notice of Publication, go to http://tdr.uspto.gov/search.action?sn=86857969. If you have difficulty accessing the Notice of Publication, contact TDR@uspto.gov.
1. The Notice of Publication may not be immediately available but will be viewable within 24 hours of this e-mail notification.
2. You will receive a second e-mail on the actual “Publication Date,” which will include a link to the issue of the Official Gazette in which the mark has published.
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