The Fourth Circuit reversed, holding that Congress acted within its authority.
The conclusion that Congress intended to enact a discrete and narrow exception to the Lanham Act is unavoidable. In fashioning § 206,Congress simply set forth an exception to the Lanham Act’s general rule that trademark registration may not be refused on the basis of the nature of the trademark. This is something Congress can do. In fact,Congress has often removed specific trademarks from the general trademark application process.