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Category: Firm Post

FUCT Up! Can We Now Register Immoral and Scandalous Trademarks?

By Hoge Fenton | 06.27.2019 | Firm Post

In 2011, Erik Brunetti attempted to register the mark “FUCT” for use with apparel, and the USPTO refused registration on the basis of the “immoral or scandalous” bar to registration in the Lanham Act. Brunetti then challenged the ruling as violating the First Amendment. On June 24, in Iancu v. Brunetti, 139 S.Ct. 782 (2019), the Supreme Court invalidated the provision of the Lanham Act that prohibited the registration of “immoral or scandalous” marks. The Supreme Court ruled the prohibition as unconstitutional under the First Amendment. If you are a company with edgier, humorous marks that you have previously not been able to register, now might be a good time to file those applications. “Immoral or Scandalous” Ban Invalidated With a 5-member majority, Justice Kagan delivered the opinion of the Court, holding that the ban on registration of “immoral or scandalous” marks was “viewpoint-based” and, therefore, in violation of the First Amendment. The court concluded that the “immoral or scandalous” ban denies the benefit of trademark registration to marks which express unpopular ideas such as: “YOU CAN’T SPELL HEALTHCARE WITHOUT THC” for pain-relief medication, “MARIJUANA COLA” and “KO KANE” for beverages, “BONG HITS FOR JESUS” and “BABY AL-QAEDA.” Implications The first implication is that we may see a rush to the trademark office with applications for numerous offensive or controversial trademarks. If you are a company with edgier, humorous marks that you have previously not been able to or not tried to register, now might be a good time to […]

In recognition of Pride Month, Hoge Fenton proudly promotes and celebrates the LGBTQIA+ community!

By Hoge Fenton | 06.27.2019 | Firm Post

We strive to recruit and retain a work force that welcomes and supports the interests of any gender, non-binary individuals, families, and people of any ethnicity or sexual orientation. While only 2.86% of attorneys in the United States self-identified as LGBT in 2018, we are proud to say that 11% of our owners do so. Hoge Fenton values and is committed to diversity and inclusion in serving our clients, the legal community, and our communities.

Hoge Fenton welcomes Business Development & Marketing Advisor Alay K. Yajnik

By Hoge Fenton | 06.4.2019 | Firm Post

Hoge Fenton welcomes Business Development & Marketing Advisor Alay K. Yajnik. Alay is a proven business leader with over 15 years of experience. He holds an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University and is a sought-after speaker on such topics as law firm strategy, business development, and marketing. “Hoge Fenton has consulted with Alay over the years, and we are pleased he has now joined us in a more formal capacity,” said Grace Carr Lee, the firm’s Executive Director. “Alay brings years of experience and a great reputation in legal business development and marketing. We are looking forward to achieving great things together.” Alay commented, “Hoge Fenton’s attorneys are amazing and their reputation for excellence is well-deserved. I am honored to be an advisor to such a prestigious law firm.” Find out more about Alay here.

Hoge Fenton Welcomes Estates and Trusts Attorney Heather L. Boshears

By Hoge Fenton | 05.8.2019 | Firm Post

Hoge Fenton expands its Estates and Trusts practices with the addition of attorney Heather L. Boshears. Heather works closely with the firm’s sophisticated clients on comprehensive estate planning, post-death trust administration, and resolution of estate disputes. A licensed CPA, she also advises clients in tax matters including estate and gift tax and real property reassessments. Prior to joining Hoge Fenton Heather was an associate at Thoits Law in Los Altos, and practiced at Fox, Shjeflo, Hartley & Babu LLP in San Mateo. “I’m excited to have Heather join our team! Her sensitivity to clients’ needs, analytical skills, and technical knowledge enable her to serve clients in a personalized, problem-solving manner,” said shareholder Karen A. Meckstroth who chairs the firm’s Estates and Trusts group. We are pleased to have Heather join our team and hope you have a chance to meet her soon. Find out more about Heather here.

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