Business & Practice

Ban on Vulgar, Sexually Explicit Trademarks Unconstitutional

Dec. 15, 2017, 5:29 PM

The provision banning the registration of “immoral and scandalous” trademarks is an unconstitutional restriction on free speech, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled today.

Eric Brunetti sought to register the mark “FUCT” for his clothing line, but was rejected by the Patent and Trademark Office because of the provision.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a ban against the registration of disparaging trademarks, such as racial slurs. Brunetti argued the bar against vulgar and sexually explicit trademarks was similar to that restriction and was also unconstitutional.

The case is In re Brunetti, Fed. Cir., No. 15-1109, 12/15/17

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