Washington Redskins Lose 6 Trademarks in Landmark Case
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations for the team’s name Wednesday, claiming it is “disparaging to Native Americans."
“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks disparage Native Americans,” Jesse Witten, the plaintiff’s attorney told Politico. “The Board ruled that the Trademark Office should never have registered these trademarks in the first place.”
The decision does not prohibit the Washington Redskins from keeping its name or from using its trademark. It could, however, affect the NFL and the team's profits from merchandise if they no longer have the exclusive rights to the name and logo, said The New York Times.
“It is a great victory for Native Americans and for all Americans. We filed our petition eight years ago and it has been a tough battle ever since," said one of the petitioners, Amanda Blackhorse. "I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed.”
But this is not the first time the trademarks have been compromised.
In 1999, the same decision was made, but 10 years later the Washington Redskins and the NFL won an appeal to the U.S. District Court, said The Post. Team officials are expected to appeal this case, hoping for another victory.