NAACP Trademark’s Claim Is No Match for Free Speech

In a recent decision, the Fourth Circuit decided that an organization’s online article criticizing the NAACP, titled “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People,” did not infringe on the NAACP’s trademark. Though the title and the article were harshly critical of the organization, trademark law generally only applies to commercial advertising, and consumers were unlikely to be confused over the article’s “source and sponsorship.” The decision, which overturned the district court’s ruling, was widely viewed as a First Amendment victory.

Trademark law and politics do not always mix. 


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In addition to Thriving Attorney, Darin M. Klemchuk is founder of Klemchuk LLP, a litigation, intellectual property, and transactional law firm located in Dallas, Texas.  He also co-founded Project K, a charity devoted to changing the world one random act of kindness at a time.  Click to read more about Darin Klemchuk's practice as an intellectual property lawyer.

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