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Erik Brunetti seeks to challenge federal law relating to the registration of trade marks

Written by Mekael Rahman on 18 April 2019

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Erik Brunetti, an artist from Los Angeles and founder of the streetwear clothing company ‘FUCT’ seeks to challenge a part of federal law relating to the registration of trade marks. The Supreme Court is set to hear Brunetti’s challenge on the pertinent law which states that officials should refuse to register trade marks that are ‘scandalous’ or ‘immoral’.

Brunetti has previously commented on his brand which began selling clothing in 1991, saying that ‘[w]e wanted the viewer to question it: Like, is that pronounced the way I think it’s pronounced?’. Regarding the relevant law, Brunetti would like to have it stuck down on the grounds that it is an unconstitutional restriction on speech. Conversely, the Trump administration supports the century-old provision that happens to be the subject of contention, stating that the law encourages trade marks that are appropriate for all audiences.

It is imperative to appreciate that Brunetti and other people who are unable to register a trade mark due to the ‘scandalous’ provision can still employ the words they want registered, but will not acquire the benefits that come with registration. In this instance, having the benefit of registration would mean that Brunetti would be better equipped to pursue counterfeiters that copy his creations.  

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