The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the U.S. Trademark Act’s section 2(a) provision precluding registration of “immoral” or “scandalous” trademarks violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The ruling came in the case of Iancu v. Brunetti, an appeal from the U.S. Trademark Office’s refusal to register the trademark F.U.C.T. for a line of clothing marketed by Erik Brunetti.
In the wake of the 2017 Supreme Court decision in Matal v. Tam, finding that the “disparaging marks” provision of that same section violates the First Amendment, many people thought—rightly, as it turned out—that the Court that invalidated the interdict against disparaging marks would likely also find the ban on “dirty words” trademarks equally offensive to the First Amendment. Continue Reading