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

June 24, 2019Media Mention
Bloomberg Law

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.

Doug Mirell, an intellectual property and First Amendment attorney at Greenberg Glusker added that brand owners would be mindful of offending consumers. He also said that smaller brands may find that with the taboo gone, vulgar marks may no longer be “sufficiently edgy.”