USA Today - The Washington NFL team lost in court Wednesday when a federal judge ordered the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to schedule cancellation of six federal trademark registrations owned by the club, ruling that the team’s name — “Redskins” — was disparaging to a significant composite of Native Americans when the marks were originally granted. U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee emphasized that the team remains free to use the name as it chooses and that the ruling means only that the team loses the specific legal protections of its federal registrations, which remain in effect until all potential appeals in the case are heard. The team is likely to appeal Wednesday’s decision to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. The team did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “Today’s ruling by the District Court resoundingly affirmed the Trademark Office’s decision that the team’s trademark registrations should never have been issued,” attorney Jesse Witten said in a statement. He represents Blackhorse and the other petitioners in the case.
From everything I’ve read this is sort of a big deal. Not like, the biggest deal, but a deal nonetheless. Basically the Trademark office isn’t allowed to register racist or disparaging names or logos. The lawsuit won the case that the name Redskins is in fact disparaging to Native Americans, so the trademarks are pulled. It doesn’t mean the Skins have to stop using it, but it does strip them of the legal protection…which means one thing….T SHIRTS!!!!! I’m pretty sure all that means is we can make t-shirts to our hearts desire and they can’t do shit about it. Cease and desist my ass, Dan Snyder.
I’ve read a few places that this case could eventually be appealed to the Supreme Court. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but would be wild. I think the team name will change before it gets there, but you never know. Daniel Snyder has unlimited money and has made the vow to never change the name. The sun rises, the sun sets, and the Redskins name gets debated ad nauseam.