Bloomberg Law
June 24, 2019, 2:18 PMUpdated: June 24, 2019, 6:53 PM

Federal Limit on Vulgar Trademarks Thrown Out by High Court (1)

Kyle Jahner
Kyle Jahner
IP Reporter

The U.S. Supreme Court said owners of vulgar and lewd product names can get federal trademark protection, ruling that a century-old restriction on those rights violates the constitutional free-speech guarantee.

Siding Monday with the creator of a clothing line known as “FUCT,” the justices threw out a federal law that banned the inclusion of “scandalous” and “immoral” trademarks on a government registry that provides nationwide legal benefits.

The decision could extend beyond trademarks, intellectual property attorney Alan Behr of Phillips Nizer LLP said. Implications could extend to “awkward and deeply suspect attempts” to limit or control hate speech at state ...

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