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When Erik Brunetti in 2011 first tried to obtain a trademark for his clothing company FUCT, the US Patent and Trademark Office blocked his application.
The USPTO relied on a portion of the Lanham Act that allows trademarks to be denied if they "[consist of or comprise] immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter."
Brunetti - Decision - Court
So Brunetti challenged the decision in court.
On Monday this week, the US Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision affirmed a December 2017 decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit that found the act's trademark limitation violates the US Constitution's First Amendment guarantee of free speech.
Ruling - Matal - V - Tam - USPTO
Pointing at its own 2017 ruling in Matal v. Tam, which said the USPTO could not deny music group The Slants a trademark just because the term might offend some people, the Supreme Court told the agency in so many words to get FUCT on its registry.
"[T]he 'immoral or scandalous' bar is substantially overbroad," the majority opinion, from Justice Elena Kagan, reads. "There are a great many immoral and scandalous ideas in the world (even more than there are swearwords), and the Lanham Act covers them all. It therefore violates...
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