As part of our continuing monitoring of this issue (see articles here, here and here), we bring you the latest chapter in the saga over the registration of THE SLANTS trademark. After the en banc Federal Circuit struck down Section 2(a) as facially unconstitutional, the United States Patent and Trademark Office, rather than withdrawing the objection to the registration, chose to suspend the application pending appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. This did not sit well with Mr. Tam, who petitioned the Federal Circuit for a writ of mandamus to compel the PTO to act on his application.
Yesterday, the Federal Circuit rejected the petition. The Court held that the PTO’s decision to wait out the appeal time was not a clear abuse of discretion and thus mandamus was not warranted. Mr. Tam will need to await the certiorari process, and perhaps the decision of the Supreme Court on the merits as well. Stay tuned.