Iancu v. Brunetti
|Iancu v. Brunetti|
|Court||United States Supreme Court|
|Full case name||Andrei Iancu, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, Patent and Trademark Office, Petitioner v. Erik Brunetti|
|Citation(s)||Docket no. 18-302|
|Prior action(s)||Matal v. Tam|
‘‘Iancu v. Brunetti’’ is a pending United States Supreme Court case about the Lanham Act, which prohibits the federal registration of scandalous trademarks. Erik Brunetti was denied registration of the mark “FUCT” in association with clothing; the decision of the examining attorney and the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was declared unconstitutional by the Federal Circuit. The United States Patent and Trademark Office then sought to restore the Lanham Act’s ban on “scandalous” and “immoral” language; the Supreme Court granted certiorari to the case on January 4, 2019.
Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act holds that a trademark may be refused registration if the subject consists of “immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.” In 2017, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Matal v. Tam that the ban on “disparaging” trademarks was unconstitutional under the First Amendment.
Erik Brunetti, seeking to register a trademark for his clothing brand “FUCT,” was denied registration from the examining attorney at the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Brunetti appealed the decision to the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which upheld the decision of the examining attorney. Brunetti then appealed the decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; the Federal Circuit ruled unanimously that Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act violated the First Amendment. The United States Patent and Trademark Office appealed the case to the Supreme Court.
The Supreme Court granted certiorari to the case January 4, 2019.
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