In re: Geller, No. 13-1412 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
In 2010, Geller and Spence filed an intent-to-use application to register the mark STOP THE ISLAMISATION OF AMERICA in connection with “[p]roviding information regarding understanding and preventing terrorism.” The Examining Attorney refused the application on the ground that the mark may be disparaging to American Muslims under the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. 1052(a). The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board affirmed, considering the likely meaning of the mark, and determining that meaning was likely to disparage “a substantial composite of the referenced group.” The Board found the term “Islamisation,” as used in the mark, had two likely meanings: “the conversion or conformance to Islam” (religious meaning) and “a sectarianization of a political society through efforts to ‘make [it] subject to Islamic law’” (political meaning).The Board determined the mark may be disparaging to American Muslims under both meanings. The Federal Circuit affirmed.