Weekly litigation report — February 18, 2017

Absent Gopher Frog headed to Supreme Court The Fifth Circuit in an 8 to 6 decision declined to rehear the case of the frog that isn’t there, Markle Investments v. United States Fish & Wildlife Service. The problem in this … Continue reading

Can the government decline to register disparaging trademarks?

Simon Tam is the frontman of the popular Portland, Oregon, band called The Slants. A few years ago Mr. Tam sought to register The Slants as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. While the term has … Continue reading

Weekly litigation update — September 17, 2016

First Amendment challenge to ban on automobile “For Sale” signs EEOC gets a haircut Petition for rehearing denied in Florida takings case Amicus brief filed in support of right to earn a living First Amendment challenge to ban on automobile … Continue reading

When may a Napa wine be labeled as a Napa wine?

The federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulates the labeling of wines sold in interstate commerce. If a winemaker wants to label their wine using an “appellation of origin” from a recognized viticultural area like Napa, then the … Continue reading

A legislative victory in Nashville Airbnb case

Last month, PLF filed an amicus brief supporting the Anderson family and their right to advertise and rent out their Nashville home via Airbnb. One of the issues addressed in the brief is Nashville’s ban on signs that advertise a … Continue reading

Dentist’s legal battle with Ohio will continue

Advertising one’s area of expertise is usually desirable for both the professional and the public. But if you’re a dentist in Ohio, regardless of whether you are completely qualified in a specialty area of dentistry, you might not be allowed … Continue reading

First Amendment success in California (and it didn’t even require a lawsuit)

All too often, cities fail to respect the First Amendment and pass unconstitutional laws that restrict people’s ability to advertise with signs. For recent examples, see here and here. But occasionally, cities can do the right thing. I’m happy to report that this … Continue reading

Weekly litigation report — June 10, 2016

Another Supreme Court Victory! About two years ago, we filed a petition for certiorari in Kent Recycling v. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, a case out of the Fifth Circuit where we were challenging a district court ruling that held that … Continue reading

Do doctors give up their First Amendment rights when they speak with patients?

The answer to that question should be “no.” Unfortunately, something called the “professional speech doctrine” practically makes the answer, “yes.” That’s why today, as part of our ongoing effort to support free speech, PLF filed a brief in Wollschlaeger v. … Continue reading

Ninth Circuit increases First Amendment protections for speech

Last week, a panel of the Ninth Circuit court strengthened protections for commercial speech (speech that proposes a commercial transaction between the speaker and the reader) in Retail Digital Network v. Appelsmith (RDN). RDN is a middleman in the advertising industry. It installs Liquid … Continue reading