More on trademarks and profanity

As discussed in January, the Supreme Court has started hearing arguments over what is considered shocking or offensive; in particular, whether the fashion brand FUCT can be protected by federal trademark registration. From the TMEP: "The prohibition against the registration of marks that consist of or comprise immoral or scandalous matter was originally enacted as §5(a) of the Trademark Act of 1905, and was reenacted as part of §2(a) of the Act of 1946."

Times have changed since 1946.  How many people would be scandalized by a clothing line that flirts with profanity? Similar trademarks have already been allowed. For instance, FCUK has trademark protection on everything from watches to clothing to pillowcases to handbags to cologne.  You can browse through these by searching the Trademark Electronic Search System. *

As you might expect, a federally registered trademark also gives the owner the ability to go after counterfeiters within the United States or selling on US-based websites.  It also allows the owner to record the mark with Customs and Border Protection to prevent the importation of counterfeit material.

What do you think? Should FUCT be allowed as a trademark?

* Not sure how to get started on a search of the trademark database? Call or visit your friendly Patent & Trademark Resource Center to learn more.

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