Patent Office Cancels 'Redskins' Trademark

Cites the term as 'Disparaging to Native Americans'

The interests hoping to force a name change of the Washington Redskins name just scored what is being called a major victory, as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the trademark on the "Redskins" name.

Citing the fact that the name was "disparaging to Native Americans," the Patent Office found in favor of five Native Americans who brought the case.

As The Washington Post noted in its article on the ruling, the finding of the name to be offensive was sufficient to cancel the trademark:

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.”

Fifty U.S. Senators sent a letter to Dan Snyder, the Washington Redskins owner, demanding that he change the franchise name earlier this year.

Issues

Organizations