FUCT: Supreme Court strikes down block on "immoral or scandalous" trademarks

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/06/24/fuct-supreme-court-strikes-do.html


There was a punk band in Tucson in the nineties called Feast Upon Cactus Thorns, abbreviated F.U.C.T. they probably didn’t apply for trademark protection with the patent office, though.


Is this beer available in the US? Maybe now it will…



Good news, they’re not fuct anymore.

The Fuct I knew was a rave fashion brand in the early 90’s. They had some fun meme-y t-shirts.


Speaking of that, is FCUK still a thing? (clickety-click) Yes, it is, as it turns out.


So will this allow the next company to outflank Fuct and call itself FUCKED® with all six letters?

Might we foresee a veritable arms race of corporate potty-mouth?


Have we forgotten FCUK so soon?

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CBC in Canada recently aired an Under The Influence podcast about trademarking brands of a controversial nature: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1523100227649

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Pretty sure I’ve still got one of their t-shirts somewhere.

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Surely the “in common use” defence applies? And here in the UK, if you’re sued for silly reasons, you just return to the judge that it’s a “frivolous and vexatious” application with a quick explanation, and should the complainant follow up, they’re risking full costs of both sides.

So much for the republican talking point that the liberals create a nanny state.

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There was an insightful look at this by a copyright lawyer on NPR this morning, who did indeed predict a rush of swear-word trademarking. Their interpretation of the SCOTUS ruling was essentially that the Supreme Court rejected the idea of the Trademark Office getting to irrationally decide what makes something “immoral or scandalous”, and that if they wanted to do so, they should handle it the same way that the FCC does: to put together a concrete list of “7 words you can’t trademark” and make that list known.


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