F is for Federal (Trademark)

Updated: Jul 9, 2019

Brands know the struggle - constantly towing that fine line between socially acceptable and mildly vulgar. It’s a fun game if you figgin’ ask us! However, not everyone shares our acceptance and love for the sarcastic, slightly crude and somewhat explicit (lame). Any way, the Supreme Court dropped a ruling on Monday that was louder than a mic drop in a comedy club. 

You see, there’s this old-school federal law that says proposed trademarks that can be seen as “scandalous” or “immoral” are a no no. *HISS HISS BOOOO* Well, a clothing brand called FUCT felt really f*cked when their federal trademark proposal was denied, but owner Erik Brunetti wasn’t about to lay down and take it. His brand has been around since 1990, after all. When shot down, Brunetti turned all the way up! He managed to get a federal appeals court to rule that this dated law violated the First Amendment. That’s right, FIG fam. They went after freedom of speech. PREACH!

Turns out, the Supreme Court agreed. Sure, the brand name, which is actually meant to be read as separate letters F-U-C-T, rides that line of “scandalous”, but Justice Elena Kagan said the current restriction violates freedom of speech because “it disfavors certain ideas” and only “covers the universe of immoral or scandalous”. Basically, ideas that differ based upon your personal view.

So, why bring this topic of news to FIG University? Because this is big for brands! We believe in the freedom of speech and the ability for a brand to express and stand for its beliefs. FUCT was built on an anti-establishment theme. Like it or not, it’s their belief, their set of morals, their  mission statement and their choice. Don’t like it? Don’t support the brand. That’s why America is a democracy and not a dictatorship.

When we take on new clients, we always start by asking “Who are you? Who is your brand? What do you stand for?” and we work to strengthen and uphold those beliefs. Obviously you can take this the wrong way and go to the extreme. We’re all adults here, we know there is a right and wrong. All we are saying is, we’re happy the government is out-ruling dated laws and embracing the future of change and we are here for it!