On Monday, clothing designer Eric Brunetti’s trademark case was argued before the Supreme Court.
Brunetti created his “FUCT” clothing line in 1990, but had his trademark application rejected consistently by the US Patent and Trademark Office, which he claims is unconstitutional. Brunetti asserted that if he had been able to trademark his brand, he could shut down the counterfeit brands that knocked off his brand.
The Patent and Trademark Office contends that the alleged acronym for “Friends U Can’t Trust” violates the Lanham Act which prohibits “scandalous” and “immoral” trademarks. As Justice Ginsberg pointed out on Monday, this case raises questions around how the appropriateness of a trademark is determined and what the role of the government is in regulating commercial speech. The Supreme Court is expected to make a decision on this case before July.
Jess Bravin, Supreme Court correspondent for the Wall Street Journal who’s written about the case