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Supreme Court Takes Up Vulgar Trademarks Case

Case to deal with First Amendment Question

On Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a case focused on an ongoing trademark case between a clothing company and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Erik Brunetti, the owner of the clothing line, whose name is phonetically similar to a vulgar term, argues that the meaning of the name is innocent. Under current rules, the Trademark Office denies any mark that could be considered vulgar or offensive.

The case will look at the current rules of the Trademark Office to determine if they are infringing on First Amendment rights. The main question will come down to whose speech ought to be more protected—that of the Trademark Office, or that of the offensive clothing line. Fundamental questions of expression and whose definition of vulgarity will also be on the table during the upcoming scheduled hearings later this year.

Sources: NY Times, Washington Times, SCOTUSblog
As the Lord Leads, pray with us:
  • For the Supreme Court to be given wisdom when they hear arguments later this year.
  • For the U.S. Trademarks office to have rules set in place that protect the free speech rights of Americans. 
  • For the Justices of the Court to have wisdom on which cases they will hear in the future.