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If you’re in the adult industry, you’ve probably heard the recent big news of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down the ban on “immoral” and “scandalous” trademarks. This now unenforceable law is what is referred to as a “morality clause.” The decision is a big win in the U.S., but prohibitions still exist in the patent and trademark laws of many countries around the world.

The Paris convention is an international treaty adopted in 1883. It sets out rules that apply to patent, trademark and other forms of intellectual property (IP) law. The rules define processes such that nationals of one signatory country can get the benefit of IP protection in other signatory countries.

Accordingly, these international treaties allow governments to deny intellectual property protection to inventions (tech) and trademarks of an “immoral” nature.

Focusing our lens first on trademark law, as mentioned earlier, here in the U.S., until just a couple of months ago, there was a ban on registration for “scandalous” and “immoral” trademarks. In the case of Iancu v. Brunetti, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) declined to issue Eric Brunetti a trademark registration for the term, “FUCT” as applied to an apparel line.

The decision in that case from the highest court in the land opened up a new landscape, allowing even sexually explicit marks to benefit from U.S. federal trademark registration.