U.S. Supreme Court strikes down law banning foul language trademarks

California fashion brand FUCT won challenge on grounds 1905 law violated free speech

The U.S. Supreme Court has struck down a section of federal law that prevented officials from registering trademarks seen as scandalous or immoral, handing a victory Monday to California fashion brand FUCT.

The high court ruled the provision dating back to 1905 is an unconstitutional restriction on speech. Between 2005 and 2015, the United States Patent and Trademark Office ultimately refused about 150 trademark applications a year as a result of the provision.

The high court’s ruling means the people and companies behind those failed applications can resubmit them for approval, and new trademark applications cannot be refused on the grounds they are scandalous or immoral.