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Supreme Court Hears First Amendment Challenge to Federal Bar on Disparaging Trademarks

Posted Jan 20, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Lee v. Tam, a case where an Asian-American band, the Slants, is challenging the federal ban on registration of disparaging trademarks.  The band claims the ban amounts to viewpoint discrimination that violates the First Amendment.  According to articles in the Washington Post and New York Times, the justices appeared skeptical of the federal ban.  Read the transcript  of oral arguments.

Samsung Loses Class Action Arbitration Bids in Ninth Circuit

Posted Jan 20, 2017

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals handed victories to Samsung cell phone buyers in two separate class actions when a panel denied Samsung’s bid to arbitrate claims based off a provision in an in-box warranty brochure, saying a reasonable buyer wouldn’t think the brochure, labeled as warranty information, included any other type of agreement.   Read “Ninth Circuit Advances Samsung Class Action Claims” in Courthouse News Service.  The cases are Daniel Norcia v. Samsung , 14-16994 and Hoai Dang v. Samsung , 15-16768.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Void-for-Vagueness Doctrine

Posted Jan 20, 2017

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Lynch v. Dimaya, a criminal removal case.  At issue is whether 18 U.S.C. 16(b) defining a crime of violence, as incorporated into the Immigration and Nationality Act’s provisions governing an alien’s removal from the U.S., is unconstitutionally vague.  Read Dean Kevin Johnson’s argument analysis at SCOTUSblog.  Read the transcript  and hear the audio of oral arguments.