The Supreme Court ruled a clothing line brand that sounds like the F-word can be trademarked.
The Supreme Court defended the Constitutional right to freedom of speech in its 6-3 opinion which was released on Monday.
The case was brought by Erik Brunetti, who founded the streetwear/skate clothing line FUCT in Los Angeles in 1990. He was previously denied a trademark due to the vulgar sounding name.
The justices struck down federal rules regarding trademarks that are "immoral" or "scandalous" as unconstitutional.
"The First Amendment does not allow the government to penalize views just because many people, whether rightly or wrongly, see them as offensive," Associate Justice Elena Kagan said from the bench in announcing the decision.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor were the dissenting votes.
Justices Roberts, Breyer and Sotomayor agreed that the ban on "immoral" and "scandalous” trademarks should stand.
"Refusing registration to obscene, vulgar or profane marks does not offend the First Amendment," Roberts said. "The First Amendment protects the freedom of speech; it does not require the government to give aid and comfort to those using obscene, vulgar and profane modes of expression."
Sotomayor said the court's ruling ensures "the government will have no statutory basis to refuse (and thus no choice but to begin) registering marks containing the most vulgar, profane or obscene words and images imaginable.
Posted in Business News