BREAKING: The Washington Redskins trademark has been canceled by the U.S. Patent Office
In somewhat shocking news, the U.S. Patent Office canceled the Washington Redskins trademark, calling it “disparaging to Native Americans.”
Here is their opinion.
“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the board wrote in its opinion.
“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks disparage Native Americans. The Board ruled that the Trademark Office should never have registered these trademarks in the first place,” Jesse Witten, the plaintiffs’ lead attorney, said in a press release. “We presented a wide variety of evidence – including dictionary definitions and other reference works, newspaper clippings, movie clips, scholarly articles, expert linguist testimony, and evidence of the historic opposition by Native American groups – to demonstrate that the word ‘redskin’ is an ethnic slur.”
The ruling will be appealed and it could be quite some time before the Redskins logo ceases to exist in the NFL. The trademark cancellation will also lead to Joe on the corner selling his own Redskins gear because well, there’s no fear of getting sued.
So, needless to say, there’s a lot of good and a lot of bad here. Interesting to see where this one is headed.