A Notice of Intervention was filed on January 9, 2015 by the Solicitor General to defend the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a).
Pro-Football, Inc. asserted in its complaint that Section 2(a) violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Section (2) a states in pertinent part:
No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it—(a) Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute…
As explained in the Notice of Intervention, inasmuch as Pro-Football, Inc.” provided notice of its challenge to the constitutionality of the Lanham Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2403(2) unconditionally allows the United States to intervene to defend the constitutionality of the Act.” This is welcome news to the Native American Defendants, whose Motion to Dismiss the Appeal was denied on November 25, 2014.