First Amendment as Defense (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

The rights conferred to an individual under the First Amendment of the U.S. constitution are a defense in cases regarding trademark infringement. Normally, there is a constant tension between the First Amendment rights of free speech and the grant of exclusive rights to use words and other symbols as trademarks. Trademark rights are therefore curbed to the extent possible to promote free speech and free competition in the marketplace. Therefore, First Amendment is raised as a defense as a defense to a trademark infringement claim. It is mostly in cases of parody trademarks the First Amendment defense most frequently arises.