The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday will rule on a case that could change the way trademarks are registered in the country.
The case involves a pair of restaurants, one in California and the other in Pennsylvania, which are challenging each other’s registrations.
They are also trying to determine whether the registrations are valid.
In a 4-3 decision, the court ruled that the registrations violate the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.
The decision is likely to affect other trademarks in the United States, including ones owned by celebrities, and will be appealed.
The Supreme Court in May approved the registration of a California-based business, the Bikini Body Shop, that sells bikini tops and other clothing.
It was the first time that the court had approved such a trademark, and the ruling made it easier for businesses to trademark a particular style of clothing.
The owners of the Bikinishop, which is based in California, say that because the registration is invalid, the owners cannot be considered competitors of the company.
They argue that the Supreme Courts decision in the case of the First Liberty Trademark Cases, which allows trademark registration based on public opinion, and other cases, are inconsistent with the First Amendments’ protection of trademarks.
“The decision of the Court to invalidate the B.B.S.’s registration, as well as to strike down the public interest test in the B-B Shop case, would, if not in the least contrary to the First and Fourteenth Amendments, certainly be inconsistent with those principles,” the restaurant owners’ lawyers wrote in the filing.
A number of business owners, including Apple and Google, have filed trademark applications for trademarks that they say protect their brands.
Apple and Motorola are among the biggest names in technology and computer products.
Google, however, has been fighting the registrations in court, arguing that they violate the company’s free speech rights.
Google and Apple are both suing over the Biskups registrations.