Colorado businesses are usually allowed to register any of their trademarks as long as no other party has already done so. However, the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act states that a request for trademark registration may be refused if the content of the trademark may disparage persons, institutions, beliefs or national symbols.
An ongoing trademark dispute is bringing the disparagement provision of the Lanham Act into question, and the U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether the provision is constitutional. On Sept. 29, the Supreme Court voted to hear a case that was brought forward by the founder of a rock band called "The Slants". The band member is arguing that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's refusal to register a trademark for his band name violated his First Amendment right to free speech.