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Washington Redskins stripped of trademarks

BillCable (1464383) writes | about a month ago

4

BillCable (1464383) writes "

In a major blow to the Washington Redskins, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday canceled six federal trademarks of the “Washington Redskins” team name because it was found to be “disparaging” to Native Americans.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board wrote. The panel voted 2-1 in favor of the decision.

Perhaps this move will speed up the inevitable name change which was expected within the next few years."

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4 comments

Awesome Opportunity (1)

sunsurfandsand (1959680) | about a month ago | (#47263127)

Without valid trademark registrations, the Washington Redskins have no trademarks to infringe. Now, before they change their name, is the perfect time for entrepreneurs to take advantage of all the money the Redskins organization spent on developing the brand. Quick! Open a Washington Redskins Pizza, Washington Redskins Gym, Washington Redskins Football Jerseys and Souvenirs Shop.

Re:Awesome Opportunity (1)

Megane (129182) | about a month ago | (#47263345)

Don't forget the ever-popular Washington Redskin Peanuts!

Jokes aside, I don't think I have ever heard of trademarks being canceled just because a few people thought they were offensive. If they were truly offensive, they would have simply been abandoned. (Anyone under 40 ever heard of the Frito Bandito?) [wikipedia.org]

Re:Awesome Opportunity (1)

Deadstick (535032) | about a month ago | (#47265493)

Now, before they change their name

Assuming they do. They're not under any legal requirement to stop using it; they just can't enjoin anybody else from using it. In which case, a business called "Redskins Pizza" could be interpreted as supporting the name, not mocking it.

Deja Vu all over again (1)

schwit1 (797399) | about a month ago | (#47264135)

From Washington Post: Native Americans have won at this stage before, in 1999. But the team and the NFL won an appeal to federal court in 2009. The court did not rule on the merits of the case, however, but threw it out, saying that the plaintiffs didn’t have standing to file it. The team is likely to make the same appeal this time.

And it took 10 years

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