The TMEP explains that Congressional legislative history does not define what is "scandalous." Rather, the TMEP provides that a scandalous mark is determined by public standards.
The determination of whether a mark is scandalous must be made in the context of the relevant marketplace for the goods or services identified in the application, and must be ascertained from the standpoint of not necessarily a majority, but a “substantial composite of the general public.” TMEP 203.01.The trademark examiner may not be on strong ground relying on a dictionary definition of slant, since a dictionary merely provides a word definition and not evidence of general public standards or mores. Similarly, the PTO's reliance on some negative comments is not dispositive and may not carry the PTO's burden of proof.
At the same time, positive statements from some community members may not carry the applicant's burden of proof, either. It appears that a community survey may be needed.
What do others think about this? Is The Slants a scandalous mark? Is it so socially objectionable to the general public to qualify as scandalous? Or, is the mark merely edgy, or boorish, or not offensive at all? Let me hear your comments.
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