Immoral or Scandalous Matter (Trademark) Law and Legal Definition

Pursuant to 15 USCS § 1052, immoral or scandalous matter is absolutely barred from trademark registration on either the Principal Register or the Supplemental Register. Marks that are shocking to the sense of propriety, offensive to the conscience or moral feelings or calling out for condemnation are considered as immoral and scandalous matters. The meaning imparted by a mark is determined in the context of the current attitudes of the day, and the relevant marketplace for the goods or services identified in the application, and should be ascertained from the standpoint of not necessarily a majority, but a substantial composite of the general public. Therefore, to support a refusal on the ground that a proposed mark is immoral or scandalous, the examining attorney should provide evidence that a substantial portion of the general public would consider the mark to be scandalous in the context of contemporary attitudes and the relevant marketplace.