Katherine Compton Pens Trademark Litigation Article for Texas Bar Journal Year in Review
Dallas, Texas (January 6, 2020) – Dallas Partner Katherine Compton recently authored an article for the Texas Bar Journal’s annual Year in Review issue. Covering trademark litigation, Ms. Compton provided a review of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Iancu v. Brunetti from June 2019, which allowed for the registration of trademarks that might be deemed “immoral and scandalous” on First Amendment grounds.
The case concerned an artist/entrepreneur who founded a clothing line using the trademark “FUCT.” When the artist sought federal registration of this trademark, he was denied by the Patent Trademark Office (PTO) under the Lanham Act’s section 1052(a), determining it to be “immoral or scandalous” under the usual tests for such a designation.
In her article, Ms. Compton reviews the PTO’s rationale for denying the trademark and the artist’s First Amendment challenge in the Federal Circuit, which worked its way up to the highest court in the land. Ultimately, the Supreme Court held that the bar for what qualifies as “immoral or scandalous” went way beyond the government’s proposed construction and therefore must be invalidated.
Ms. Compton is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property & Technology and Complex Business & Commercial Litigation Practices. She has extensive experience in litigating complex commercial matters, including trademark infringement, theft of trade secret, franchise, banking, corporate, non-competes, class actions, personal injury/wrongful death and numerous other types of commercial litigation.