Scandalous Trademark Case Headed to Supreme Court

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) denied Erik Brunetti’s application to register “FUCT” as a mark in 2011 because the mark is a “vulgar term”, which is prohibited. Brunetti appealed to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which affirmed the USPTO. Brunetti took his case then to the Federal Circuit. As he awaited his appeal, the Supreme Court found “that prohibiting registration of ‘disparaging’ marks violated the First Amendment's Free Speech Clause”. Does Matal vTam, 137 S. Ct. 1744 (2017), settle the issue for both “disparaging” and “scandalous” marks or will it return a different decision? While we wait for SCOTUS to hear the case (expected in April) and then issue a ruling, learn more about the case here.