Reuters/ Jan Wolfe/ January 4, 2019

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to decide whether a federal law that blocks trademarks for brand names or logos bearing profane words or sexual imagery violates free speech rights in a case involving a clothing brand called “FUCT.”

The justices will hear the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeal of a lower court decision that the agency should have allowed fashion designer Erik Brunetti to trademark the “FUCT” brand name, which sounds like, but is spelled differently than, a profanity.

At issue is a provision of U.S. trademark law that lets the trademark office deny requests for trademarks on “immoral” and “scandalous” words and symbols, and whether the law violates the guarantee of free speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.

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