Admit it. We’ve all walked by French Connection United Kingdom (“FCUK”) and had to do a double take. Some people, however, have found this mark more offensive than others. So offensive, that they have taken the company to court.
In 2004, Dennis Woodman applied for the mark to be invalidated on the ground that it was immoral, contrary to public policy, and not an accepted principle of morality. Woodman argued that the FCUK mark was intended to be mistaken for the more vulgar version of the four letters.
Of course, French Connection knew there was the possibility of a play on words (which is why, we believe, they actually chose the name – it’s attention grabbing and memorable to consumers). However, the company argued that the origin of the mark was as an acronym for ‘French Connection United Kingdom’. The UK courts ruled in favour of French Connection.
Even after an appeal, Woodman lost to French Connection. Judge Arnold deemed the FCUK mark to be acceptable because it was not a phonetic or visual equivalent of “f***”. He states, “[t]he offence is not caused by FCUK itself, but rather that through word play, mistake, or misconstruing of the letters, the mark is capable of being seen as the word.”
What do you think? Great or offensive? One things for certain: you WON’T forget it.
Information gathered from http://www.thefashionlaw.com