An association of trademark holders on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to find a rock band's "offensive" trademark is commercial speech that should be subjected to lower scrutiny in a case that could set precedent for controversial trademarks including that of the Washington Redskins.

The International Trademark Association lent support in an amicus brief to arguments by the band The Slants in challenging the federal government's ban on offensive trademarks, saying the issuance of a trademark does not reflect on the government's disposition toward a certain group.

The band is asking the high court to affirm a ruling last year that struck down the ban on "disparaging" trademarks as a violation of the First Amendment. The Oregon group, which picked the name to re-appropriate an anti-Asian slur, was refused a trademark registration on the grounds that the name was too offensive.

The case has drawn attention because the same provision was used to revoke the Washington Redskins' trademark registrations in 2014 on the grounds that name was offensive to Native Americans. The ruling will likely decide the fate of that separate case, too.

"The suggestion that registration would cause the public to identify a trademark with the government is antithetical to the entire purpose of a trademark—to identify the source of goods or services," according to brief.

The group disagreed with the Federal Circuit, however, in its holding that it's "unclear" whether people denied trademark registration based on the disparagement clause can file an unfair competition claim under the Lanham Act's Section 43(a), which protects marks related to geographic origin or a product's source.

The group is represented in part by Lawrence K. Nodine.