• FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2016, file photo, Washington Redskins football helmets are seen before an NFL preseason football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets, in Landover, Md. The Supreme Court could decide as early as this month whether to hear the dispute involving the Portland, Oregon-area band. And if the Washington Redskins football team has its way, the justices could hear both cases in its new term. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File

    FILE - In this Aug. 19, 2016, file photo, Washington Redskins football helmets are seen before an NFL preseason football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Jets, in Landover, Md. The Supreme Court could decide as early as this ... month whether to hear the dispute involving the Portland, Oregon-area band. And if the Washington Redskins football team has its way, the justices could hear both cases in its new term. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File (The Associated Press)

  • This photo provided by Anthony Pidgeon, taken Aug. 21, 2015, shows the Asian-American band The Slants, from left, Joe X Jiang, Ken Shima, Tyler Chen, Simon "Young" Tam, Joe X Jiang in Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Ore. The Supreme Court could decide as early as this month whether to hear the dispute involving the Portland, Oregon-area band. And if the Washington Redskins football team has its way, the justices could hear both cases in its new term.  (Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns via AP)

    This photo provided by Anthony Pidgeon, taken Aug. 21, 2015, shows the Asian-American band The Slants, from left, Joe X Jiang, Ken Shima, Tyler Chen, Simon "Young" Tam, Joe X Jiang in Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Ore. The Supreme Court could decide ... as early as this month whether to hear the dispute involving the Portland, Oregon-area band. And if the Washington Redskins football team has its way, the justices could hear both cases in its new term. (Anthony Pidgeon/Redferns via AP) (The Associated Press)

Redskins, rock band form unusual alliance in trademark fight

Markets Associated Press

Simon Tam has openly criticized the Washington Redskins team name as a racist slur that demeans Native Americans.

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But Tam and his Asian-American rock band, The Slants, have formed an unusual alliance with the NFL franchise as they both battle the U.S. government over trademark protection for names that some consider offensive.

The Supreme Court could decide as early as this month whether to hear the dispute involving the Portland, Oregon-area band. And if the football team has its way, the justices could hear both cases in its new term.

At issue is a First Amendment challenge to a law barring the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from registering trademarks that disparage minority groups.