IANCU v. BRUNETTI | The Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression

Case Overview

Action

"The Lanham Act’s prohibition on registration of “immoral[ ] or scandalous” trademarks violates the First Amendment." The vote was 9-0 on the “immoral” issue and 6-3 on the “scandalous” issue.

Facts/Syllabus

"Respondent Erik Brunetti sought federal registration of the trademark FUCT. The Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) denied his application under a provision of the Lanham Act that prohibits registration of trademarks that “[c]onsist[ ] of or comprise[ ] immoral[ ] or scandalous matter,” 15 U. S. C. §1052(a). Brunetti brought a First Amendment challenge to the “immoral or scandalous” bar in the Federal Circuit, which invalidated the provision."

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