In 2004, Simon Tam formed a dance-rock band of all Asian-Americans after leaving his previous group, The Stivs. When naming his new band he decided to turn something negative into a positive, while also using a double-entendre to alter his listeners’ opinions. He named the group The Slants, playing on racial stereotypes. In 2009 Tam attempted to patent the name but was rejected by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Tam and his legal team began legal action and the case, Matal v. Tam, took about a decade to conclude. Unfortunately for Tam and his group, it proved to be a great distraction from the musical process.
By Simon Tam