Clothing brand FUCT was on the front page after the US Supreme Court ruled in its favor – and in favor of freedom of speech – by accepting is trademark after the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) denied the application due to similarities with the word ‘fuck’.

However, the brand, owned by Erik Brunetti, is the midst of a new legal dispute after being accused of copyright infringement. Artist and illustrator Richard Louderback is suing FUCT and Richardson – brand founded by Andrew Richardson – for selling garments with unauthorized copies of his work “Maneater” inspired by the movie Jaws.

According to the lawsuit, Louderback alleges that FUCT and Richardson announced on social media a collaboration on a capsule collection including t-shirts and sweatshirts with the printed image of his artwork, created in 1992, without giving him due credit, and with “intentionality and malice.”

Faced with the announcement, the artist sent cease and desist letters to the defendants, and although Richardson initially agreed not to sell the items in copyright violation, “Brunetti and FUCT never even hesitated”, and what’s more, in a response through his lawyers, “refused to cancel or even postpone the upcoming sale of the infringing goods.”

Two days later, the infringing products were offered for sale on the FUCT website and sold out at the end of the day.

However, the issue goes beyond this particular unauthorized use of “Maneater”. According to the artist, this is not the first time that FUCT has made “unauthorized” use of his work, and states that FUCT has been “using and taking credit for [his] artwork for decades, with great success and acclaim,” well beyond an initial agreement between the two, in the early 90s, for a limited collection.

With this in mind, Louderback claimed copyright infringement and seeks “all damages, including damages that [he] has sustained, or will sustain, as a result of the acts,” as well as injunctive relief, which would immediately and permanently prevent the sale of the items in violation.

Brands Protection News