Erik Brunetti created a clothing line called “FUCT,” and he’s been trying to get the brand name trademarked for years with no luck. Now, his case finally made it to the Supreme Court — and it’s making headlines for a bizarre reason.
In one of the more amusing cases to come before the court, the justices struggled to get around actually saying the profane-sounding brand name, including Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who dodged it rather skillfully.
Trademarks are generally not granted for profanity-based logos or names.
The danger is in having these words or images plastered all over public spaces during advertising campaigns.
While discussing the case, every justice worked very hard to not say the name of Brunetti’s clothing line, FUCT.
“These goods, as I understand it, are meant to attract a particular market — and if we concentrate on that market, from their perception, the word is mainstream,” Ginsburg said.
The problem, though, as stated — and as mentioned by virtually every other justice on the panel — was: What happens when FUCT is plastered across buses and billboards?
Of all the justices, Brunetti felt as though Ginsburg actually understood his marketing concept the most.
That was a pretty strange statement, especially considering that Ginsburg is actually the oldest justice on the court.
However, her newfound fame as “The Notorious RBG” has more or less forced her to become more mainstream.
“I could tell by her remarks that she understood the brand, 100 percent,” Brunetti said. “I’m pretty sure she researched it.”
He went on: “She also understood the demographic. I was every impressed with what she said.”
Most believe Brunetti has a very slim, if any, chance of having his trademark approved, but there is at least one precedent that many benefit Brunetti.
The rock group “The Slants” was initially denied trademark approval for its disparagement of Asians.
However, the Supreme Court reversed the decision on the denial of limited free speech.
For now, Brunetti will have to wait as the justices ponder their decision. He may finally have an answer once and for all later this summer.