Just as the national debate over offensive trademarks such as the Washington Redskins has been sharply divided, so too was the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Friday.

Sitting en banc to decide whether the government can withhold registration of “disparaging” trademarks, three judges strongly signaled they consider Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act unconstitutional. But four others sounded just as passionate about upholding the statute. The remaining five were harder to gauge.

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