The Washington Redskins are finally changing their name after years of being criticized for being racially insensitive but it appears that they’re having issues changing names.
On Monday, the Redskins officially announced they were retiring the name but according to several reports will not announce their new nickname due to a trademark dispute.
The new nickname will not be announced immediately because trademark issues are pending, the sources said, but insiders were told today that the “thorough review” announced July 3 has concluded. The team felt it was important to remove any doubts as to the future of the name, one source said.
One of the reasons the Redskins may be having trouble finding a new name is because a man named Martin McCaulay has trademarked over 40 potential names including “Red Tails”, “Renegades” and “Red Wolves”.
The problem with the @Redskins approach is that they’ve telegraphed their name change to cash in on some good PR.
This has allowed others a huge head start to file trademarks on the most logical names. Per @WallachLegal, here’s an example of the names one squatter has cornered. https://t.co/7LyysLi5i4 pic.twitter.com/lVigQJfcVi
— Sports Law Lust🎙 (@SportsLawLust) July 13, 2020
So whoever “McCaulay, Philip” is, he has registered for all of the following trademarks:
Washington Red Wolves
Washington Red-Tailed Hawks
Washington Renegades#Redskins #HTTR pic.twitter.com/2Ed3CrTYzN
— mz (@ThatsMikeZ) July 13, 2020
McCaulay was recently interviewed by Richmond.com and he says trademark squatting potential Redskins names has been his hobby for the past five years.
Martin McCaulay’s “hobby” started in 2014.
When speculation began to swirl that the Washington Redskins might have to change their name, out of respect to the Native American community, he went on the United States Patent and Trademark Office website and applied for a trademark for the name “Washington Pigskins.”
McCaulay, a 61-year-old actuary who lives in Alexandria, has picked up a number of other potential options. He’s filed 44 claims related to potential Washington team names.
McCaulay also sells merchandise of the names he’s squatting to strengthen his trademark case in court if ever opposed and plans to cash in big if the Redskins chose one of the names he’s trademarked.
United States law requires that the holder of a trademark actually use the term in question.
McCaulay is aware of the provision, which is why he’s spent thousands of dollars creating team merchandise to back up his claims.
In doing so, he said he’s no ordinary trademark squatter, a term with negative connotation used in similar situations.
“A squatter reserves a name with no intention to use it,” McCaulay said. “I went to the extreme of buying a lot of merchandise, making it my brand, and selling it.”
https://t.co/90NioeKgYO I will be starting a flag football team named the Washington Red-Tailed Hawks. I already have trademarks for the name Washington Red-Tailed Hawks. They will go by their nickname, Washington Redtails. The dictionary definition of redtail is red-tailed hawk.
— Martin McCaulay (@MartinMcCaulay) July 10, 2020
To play Replacement Name Trademark Hoarder: Level 1: defeat Mr Snyder in a trademark case (McCaulay v. Washington Football March 2020), Level 2: get trademarks for four names on the odds board: #Redtails #Redhawks #Americans #Renegades (July 2020), Level 3: facilitate name change
— Martin McCaulay (@MartinMcCaulay) July 12, 2020
We’ll see if McCaulay’s gamble pans out in the upcoming weeks.