Yet again, the Supreme Court should protect 'offensive' trademarks

Los Angeles Times 

The Supreme Court on Monday considered whether a line of clothing whose name sounds a lot like a four-letter vulgarity beginning with the letter F can be denied federal trademark registration because it's "scandalous" or "immoral." If the justices value the 1st Amendment they will rule -- as they did in a related case two years ago -- that government officials may not refuse to register a trademark simply because many people might find it offensive. In the 1990s, a Los Angeles entrepreneur and artist named Erik Brunetti founded a clothing brand called FUCT. But when he tried to register that name for federal trademark protection, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied his petition. It cited language in a federal law known as the Lanham Act directing the agency not to register trademarks containing "immoral" or "scandalous" material.

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