AskDefine | Define disparagement

Dictionary Definition



1 a communication that belittles somebody or something [syn: depreciation, derogation]
2 the act of speaking contemptuously of [syn: dispraise]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. The act of disparaging, of belittling.
    His disparagement of his opponent failed to dissuade voters.

Extensive Definition

Disparagement, in United States trademark law, is a cause of action that permits a party to petition the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) to cancel a trademark registration that "may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt or disrepute". . Unlike claims regarding the validity of the mark, a disparagement claim can be brought "at any time", subject to equitable defenses such as laches. The TTAB has interpreted the statute to give broad standing to parties who claim they may be injured by a mark - in one case, the TTAB permitted two women to seek the cancellation of a chicken restaurant's slogan, "Only a Breast in the Mouth is Better Than a Leg in the Hand".
In 2005, the trademark of the Washington Redskins football team was canceled under this provision, based on the claim that the name was disparaging to Native Americans.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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