On December 22, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that the “disparaging” trademark prohibition in Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. The ruling paves the way to registration for the Asian-American rock band’s name “The Slants.” The ruling may also hold significant sway with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit as it considers this same statutory provision in the trademark dispute involving the Washington Redskins NFL football franchise. Please join Dorsey & Whitney LLP as it hosts an informative and entertaining CLE panel featuring several of the litigants involved in the Federal Circuit case, followed by a musical performance by The Slants.


  • Simon Tam, a noted social activist, musician, and founder of The Slants
  • Robert Chang, Executive Director of the Korematsu Center and Professor of Law at Seattle University 
  • Charlene Krogh, a Partner in Dorsey’s Trademark & Brand Management Group in Denver
  • Mathew dos Santos, Legal Director of ACLU of Oregon 


  • J. Michael Keyes, an IP litigator and Partner at Dorsey & Whitney in Seattle


  • 4:00 pm – 5:30 pm   Panel Discussion 
  • 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm   Networking Reception with performance by The Slants