Last week, in Vidal v. Elster, the Supreme Court upheld the Lanham Act’s prohibition against registering a trademark that includes a living person’s name without their consent.[1]  This case is the latest in a trilogy of challenges to the constitutionality of trademark registration bars in the Lanham Act.  The Court previously struck down as unconstitutional the clauses in Section 2(c) prohibiting registration of marks constituting “disparagement” and “immoral or scandalous matter.”[2]  In a departure from those decisions, the Court upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s refusal to register a trademark for “Trump Too Small”—a piece of political commentary that the applicant sought to use on apparel to criticize a government official.  The Court reasoned that, unlike the other provisions, the “names” prohibition is viewpoint-neutral, and thus does not violate any First Amendment right. 

On 27 April 2023, the European Commission (the “Commission”) proposed a new regulation on the licensing of standard essential patents (the “Proposal”).[1]  The objective of the Proposal is to facilitate standard essential patent (“SEP”) licensing negotiations by providing clarity on several aspects: transparency as to who owns SEPs and which SEPs are essential; transparency on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms and conditions; and dispute resolution for the determination of FRAND terms.[2]