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Jun 19

Patent Office Cancels Redskins Trademark

Washington Helmet The movement to change the Washington Redskins name has issued a big blow to the organization as well as owner Daniel Snyder in the form the United States Patent and Trademark Office having canceled the team’s trademark because they feel it is “disparaging to Native Americans”.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled in a 2-1 vote Wednesday afternoon to cancel the trademark on the name “Redskins” however it does not affect the logo the Washington D.C. team wears on their helmet.

The Redskins attorney said the team will appeal the ruling and that they remain confident that the ruling is overturned. He also went onto remind everyone that during the appeal process the trademark and all of its registration will remain valid.

Now while this may seem like a case that has just been brought up in the last few years the truth of the matter is it was brought up against the league in 2006 by four Native American tribes. However this is not even the first time that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board have voted to cancel the trademark. The first time was in 1999 and after canceling the trademark on the “Redskins” the decision was overturned in court as they decided that the case was too old and should have been brought up in 1967 when the team registered the name to be trademarked in the first place.

While the Washington organization remains confident that it will be overturned and they have precedent on their side with the case in 1999 there have been a few spoken saying they feel the ruling will stand and the canceling of the trademark will be upheld.

Last month Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wrote a letter signed by 49 other democratic senators encouraging a name change and he feels even if they do overturn the trademark cancelation that there are still many options the senators could take including ridding the league of its tax-exempt status which could drastically hurt not only Daniel Snyder’s bottom line but the leagues as well.

However if the United States Patent and Trademark Office decision is upheld by the courts the bottom line of not just the Washington Organization but the NFL will be hurt due to the Redskins having one of the highest jersey sellers on their team in the ever so popular Robert Griffin III.

Either way if this decision is upheld or if it is overturned it appears the Dan Snyder owned Washington Redskins bottom line will be affected in the process. It appears the only way Snyder would consider changing his franchise’s nickname is if his bottom line is directly impacted. Whether canceling the trademark works it appears this battle is long from over and may continue on in the legal system for years to come so for those fans and activist who want a definitive answer on what is going to happen with the name will have to wait much longer than they think.

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