US Supreme Court bins longstanding ban on 'immoral' language in trademarks

US Supreme Court bins longstanding ban on 'immoral' language in trademarks
Photo credit: Getty

The US Supreme Court has disposed of a longstanding ban on trademarks which include "immoral" words and symbols.

All nine justices agreed the 1905 prohibition on "immoral" words directly opposed the US constitution's first amendment right to free expression.

On Monday the justices ruled against President Donald Trump's administration, which was in defence of the law, and in favour of Los Angeles streetwear designer Erik Brunetti.

In 2011 Brunetti was turned down by the US Patent and Trademark Office when he went to trademark his clothing brand name Fuct, reports Reuters.

While nine justices agreed the prohibition on "immoral" trademarks was in opposition to free speech, three justices wrote dissents to say the ban on "scandalous" trademarks should have remained.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the government will now have no choice but to register "the most vulgar, profane or obscene words and images imaginable".

Brunetti's lawyer said the lift of the ban was "a good day for Americans."

"The US Supreme Court has taken the government out of the business of deciding questions of morality," John Sommer told Reuters.

Brunetti's brand includes sweatshirts with slogans such as "we are Fuct" and "Fuct is free speech, free speech is Fuct".

He says the brand name is clever as it associates with profanity, but the acronym means "Friends U Can't Trust."

Newshub.

 

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