An unlikely activist is hatching a plan to deprive white supremacists of their beloved Nazi flags — thanks to a recent Supreme Court decision.
Until last month, the government would approve most applications, but not those deemed to be disparaging. Now, the highest court in the land has struck down that ban on the grounds that it restricts free speech.
Steve Maynard used to work in the government’s Patent and Trademark Office, so he knew the potential significance of the ruling right away. A registered trademark can be a symbol or even a word — the classic Nike swoosh or the McDonald’s arch. He quickly submitted applications to register both the swastika and the word “nigga” as trademarks. He’s on a mission to thwart bigots by using his knowledge of intellectual property law, but legal experts warn it might fail.