Last month, a Supreme Court ruling made it legal to trademark offensive words. Now, folks are trying to trademark the N-word.
Yes. That N-word.
“A small group of companies and individuals are looking to register racially charged words and symbols for their products, including the N-word and a swastika,” Reuters reports. Such filings are usually declined considering the fact that they’re derogatory and offensive, but now the court has ruled this sort of ban as a violation of free speech under the U.S. Constitution—so basically big names and companies can start branding products with racially charged epithets and it won’t be a problem. Cool! (Please note our sarcasm.)
“We’re now opening the door, chipping away at what’s acceptable under cultural norms,” Attorney David Bell, a trademark expert with Haynes and Boone law firm said. “I think it could be a slippery slope, where you get more people and companies thinking, ‘This is okay.'”
According to Reuters, there have already been seven trademark applications filed for variations of the N-word and other offensive slurs.
Read more about this mess here.