The Slants: Their Trademark Saga Continues
It was nice to get an update from Simon of The Slants on their trademark filing. He’s the one in front.
This is Simon with The Slants. I just wanted to take a moment to give you an update on what’s been happening with our trademark filing.
First, I wanted to thank you again for your willingness to help in this matter. I can’t tell you enough how much this means to me as an Asian American who is fighting for equal rights. It’s been nearly two years but we are still continuing the fight. As I go through the Trademark Office’s records once more, it’s interesting to see that of the 50 trademark applications containing the term “slant,” ours is still the only one that they’ve raised the issue of it being a racial slur (every other applicant who was not of Asian descent experienced no questions or doubt at all).
In our most recent appeal, we sent over 700 pages of evidence. From expert testimony showing the history/use of the word to a national survey of Asian Americans, letters of support from respected API activists, support from API media, and much more, it was an unbelievable collection that reflected thousands of hours of work. However, the Trademark Office expressed no interest in seriously considering anything from the Asian American community but instead dismissed all of the evidence presented because they believed it would be more politically correct to do so. Because our band is associated with a proud form of Asian American activism, we were struck down.
Since then, we’ve teamed up with a new attorney to assist us. We have reapplied using a different tactic and are working our way through the system again. I believe that we have a long road ahead of us but it’s an important one for the community. Some day, all of us will be able to look back and see how this case contributed to changing history for all minorities who have suffered the inequities of outdated laws.
Thank you again, I hope to send you some good news soon.
The Slants are the only all-Asian American dance rock band in the world.
Kicking off the band’s career at a tiny dive bar in Portland, OR, The Slants soon found themselves on tour and in demand worldwide performing at music halls, colleges, and anime conventions. Within months, they released their debut album “Slanted Eyes, Slanted Hearts” winning multiple awards from the likes of Willamette Week, Rockwired, AsiaXpress, and the Portland Music Awards. Since that first iconic show in 2007, The Slants have been cited as the “Hardest Working Asian American Band” (slanteyefortheroundeye.com), toured North America ten times, rejected a million dollar recording contract, were the first and only Asian band to be a Fender Music artist, and according to U.S Congress, the first rock band to play inside a state library.
The Willamette Week, summarizes The Slants’ history perfectly: “It’s a great story: All-Asian synthcore troupe lands anime festival, achieves instantaneous notoriety from overpacked fireball-laden maelstrom, inspires John Woo and Dragon Ball Z fans toward aggro electro and—just months after its first practice—books gigs across the globe. As shadow-warriory as the Slants’ rise has been, it’s still all about the tunes, and the band’s debut—floor-filling synth pop bristling with all the menace and grandeur of its oft name-checked cultural icons—is propulsive, cinematic and impossible to ignore.”