Redskins Trademark Canceled By U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Wow! Breaking news this morning concerning the DMV’s own Washington

Redskins, or should I say formerly known as! The United States Patent and Trademark office has officially canceled the Redskin’s trademark claiming that

the team’s name is “disparaging to Native Americans”. This is big news for the millions of Redskin’s fans here in the nation’s capital.

Read the story courtesy of washingtonpost.com

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans. It was the second time such a case was filed.“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” said lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin.”

“We are extraordinarily gratified to have prevailed in this case,” Alfred Putnam Jr., the chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath, said. “The dedication and professionalism of our attorneys and the determination of our clients have resulted in a milestone victory that will serve as an historic precedent.”

The ruling does not mean that the Redskins have to change the name of the team. It does affect whether the team and the NFL can make money from merchandising because it limits the team’s legal options when others use the logos and the name on T shirts, sweatshirts, beer glasses and license plate holders.

In addition, Native Americans have won at this stage before. But the team and the NFL won an appeal to U.S. District Court. The team is likely to make the same appeal this time. Team officials are expected to make a statement this morning.

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