Trademark officials must distinguish between irony and offense

Sonia Katyal writes for The New York Times, May 4, 2016

Brands and trade symbols are not just pictures. They implicate the very force of identity, which can form and recode itself according to the dynamic pull of public culture. But there are certain marks that remain disparaging by the communities that are targeted by them, and that is precisely why we need the force of law to limit its protection of them.