U.S. Patent Office Cancels Washington Redskins Trademark


The death knell is ringing for the Washington Redskins nickname. In a landmark ruling, The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the franchise. The ruling came down Wednesday, stating that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and therefore can’t be trademarked under federal law that prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language.

The U.S. PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board issued a ruling in the case, brought against the team by plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse, Wednesday morning.

“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

Skins owner Dan Snyder needs to jump on the bus with banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling. White, male privilege is certainly experiencing some much deserved blowback from the public at large.