- Henry Park
And the other shoe falls. Register a trademark on almost anything.
Earlier this year, after the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tam in the Slants case, I wrote that that decision could affect other prohibitions in the Lanham Act (see blog post).
As predicted, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit just ruled that 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a)'s "bar on registering immoral or scandalous marks is an unconstitutional restriction of free speech." See In re: Erik Brunetti, Case No. 2015-1109 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 15, 2017).
In this case, the trademark applicant owns the clothing brand FUCT. The applicant attempted to register the FUCT mark, however, the trademark attorney refused to register it on the grounds that it was immoral or scandalous matter. The applicant lost on reconsideration and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board affirmed the refusal. The applicant then appealed to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.