The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to decide whether the federal government can refuse to grant legal protection to a trademark because officials find it to be vulgar or lewd.
Taking up a new free-speech clash, the justices will review a decision that struck down a century-old ban on federal protections for “scandalous” and “immoral” trademarks.
The U.S. trademark office has suspended consideration of vulgar and lewd marks during the court fight. Among those on hold are applications by the all-women music groups Pussy Riot and Thunderpussy over their band names. Miramax LLC is awaiting word on its bid to register “bad mother fucker,” for use on Pulp Fiction-themed goods.
The case is Iancu v. Brunetti, U.S., No. 18-302, 1/4/19.
We’ll keep you posted as things progress.