The State Of Scandalous Trademarks Post-Brunetti

Law360 (April 16, 2020, 6:14 PM EDT) -- Last June, in Iancu v. Brunetti,[1] the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the statutory bar preventing federal registration of “immoral and scandalous” trademarks,[2] finding it violated the First Amendment. This ruling opened the door for brands to seek federal registration of trademarks that, in the past, would have been refused as too vulgar, profane or offensive (such as "Fuct," which was the mark at issue in Brunetti).

While many heralded Brunetti as a free speech victory, others expressed concern about its impact. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, for example, warned in her dissent-in-part that the ruling would permit “a rush to register trademarks...

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