FUCT Streetwear Trademark Ruled OK by SCOTUS
Erik Brunetti and FUCT Streetwear may have won their trademark case this time, but I think Ford may be gathering their legal eagles….. Mr Brunetti appears to have “borrowed” the Ford logo!
Check out his t-shirt!
A Phillipsburg native’s FUCT streetwear clothing brand can get federal trademark protection after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor Monday.
The federal government denied Erik Brunetti’s trademark due to a provision of federal law that bans registering proposed trademarks that are “immoral” or “scandalous.”
Brunetti told the court the brand is pronounced four letters, one after the other F-U-C-T, while the government felt it was “the equivalent of (the) past participle form of a well-known word of profanity.”
“You might read it differently, and if so, you would hardly be alone.”Justice Elena Kagan
How the brand might be read didn’t matter for the court when it issued the majority opinion that found the trademark law’s ban violates the First Amendment because it “discriminates on the basis of viewpoint,” Kagan wrote.
The Lanham Act allows registration of a trademark only when its messages fit in with “society’s sense of decency or propriety,” not when a message defies it, the opinion states. This results in “viewpoint-discriminatory application,” Kagan writes.
The government sought to narrow the application so it would mostly only apply to applications that are “lewd, sexually explicit or profane,” she writes. But that’s not what the law says and a key issue is that it does not draw the line there, it “covers the universe of immoral or scandalous,” stepping into the world of viewpoint, the court found.