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The UFC Files Trademarks for “BADDEST MOTHERFUCKER”

On September 11, the UFC filed a series of trademark applications for the phrase ‘BADDEST MOTHERFUCKER’ under the entity Zuffa, LLC.

Among the list of goods and services to be offered under the mark are entertainment services, including live stage shows and mixed martial arts events, toys and action figures, and championship belts. The three trademark filings suggest that the UFC could be awarding a championship belt called “BADDEST MOTHERFUCKER” in the near future.

These applications, while edgy, fall into a very interesting legal context. Had these filings been made last year, they certainly would have been refused due to the obviously inappropriate word “motherfucker.” At the time, a provision of the Lanham Act, which is U.S. trademark law, stated that ‘scandalous’ and ‘immoral’ trademarks could not be protected with a federal registration. This Act left it up to the USPTO to determine what was considered to be ‘scandalous’ and ‘immoral.’

However, the Supreme Court recently struck down this provision in June 2019, deeming it unconstitutional, and ruled that scandalous names can be protected by federal trademarks. Now, the UFC should be allowed to register their “BADDEST MOTHERFUCKER” trademark following the recent change to U.S. trademark law.

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