The Slants – A Name Worth Fighting For
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When: Monday, December 11, 2017
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM CT
Where: Omaha Marriott Downtown
222 N 10th St
Omaha, Nebraska  68102
United States

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MCLE Accreditation
*Nebraska MCLE #147411. Iowa MCLE #273109. 2 CLE hours. (Regular/live)
*Nebraska MCLE #147409. Iowa MCLE #273110. 2 CLE hours. (Distance learning)

Registration Fees
$130 - Regular registration
$100 - NSBA dues-paying member (discounted price for NSBA dues-paying members)
Free - Law students
*Pricing options available for non-attorneys. Contact the NSBA for more information.

1:00 pm     The Slants - A Name Worth Fighting For
In June 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared the Lanham Act’s “disparagement clause” unconstitutional. At issue in Matal v. Tam was a trademark application by an Asian-American rock band called “The Slants.” Registration of the band’s name (or mark) was refused by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for violating the Lanham Act’s disparagement clause which prohibited the registration of any mark that may “disparage…or bring…into contemp[t] or disrepute” any person, institution, belief or national symbol.

Simon Tam who initially registered the mark of his band’s name, The Slants, will describe the legal process and how it resulted in a significant ruling in support of the First Amendment’s protection against government restriction of free speech.  Simon Tam is an award winning musician, author, and activist. He is best known as the founder of the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance-rock band, The Slants, who won their case in the U.S. Supreme Court against the U.S government
in a landmark legal battle to expand First Amendment rights for minorities. Mr. Tam is dedicated to raising awareness of racial disparities, social justice, and issues that affect the Asian American community. Mr. Tam has also appeared on TEDx as a speaker.
2:30 pm     Panel Discussion
Nebraska attorneys will join Simon Tam to identify the impact Matal v Tam will have in the practice of trademark and copyright law in addition to how this may impact implicit bias and issues related to diversity and inclusion before the law.

Mary Ann Novak, with Hilgers and Graben, is an experienced litigator, whose trial practice focuses on complex commercial disputes, with particular emphasis on intellectual property disputes. Ms. Novak has represented clients in a broad array of intellectual property issues, including trademark, trade dress, unfair competition, false advertising, copyright, utility patent, design patent, trade secret and right of publicity disputes. She also conducts trademark clearance searches and prosecutes trademark applications in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and litigates matters before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, including oppositions, cancellations, and concurrent use proceedings. Ms. Novak received her JD from the Stanford Law School.

Carol A. Cleaver is the Director/Managing Attorney of the Nebraska State Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Project. Carol is also an appointed member of the Nebraska Supreme Court Minority Justice Committee. She is a regular presenter on CLE topics, including domestic law, ethics, and law office technology.

3:00 pm     Adjourn 

Sponsored By:

 NSBA Corporate Counsel Section  NSBA Intellectual Property Section