Redskins Lose Trademark Over 'Disparaging' Name
Plaintiff applauds 'victory for Native Americans and all Americans'
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 18, 2014 9:39 AM CDT
In this Aug. 28, 2009, file photo, the Washington Redskins logo is displayed at midfield before the start of a preseason game in Landover, Md.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

(Newser) – Under federal law, trademarks can't "disparage" individuals—and on those grounds, the US Patent and Trademark Office has withdrawn the Washington Redskins' trademark registration, the Washington Post reports. The office says the six trademarks that included the name "were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered." Plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse called the decision "a great victory for Native Americans and for all Americans," ThinkProgress reports.

As evidence that the name is a slur, attorneys say they used "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." Notes Blackhorse: "We filed our petition eight years ago, and it has been a tough battle ever since. I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed." The team's name has taken a lot of heat lately.

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Showing 3 of 157 comments
user2161
Jun 24, 2014 9:31 PM CDT
This is right. I am glad they lost the trademark. Registering something that is genuinely racist and depicts a group of people as a stereotypical icon is wrong. Politically correct or not. This is definitely derogatory, even to those who are part native american and don’t take offense to it. Reason being: Having a trophy-image of an idealized native american on the settler’s sports team points back to many years of genocide, bullying, marginalization, and racism. Not to mention cultural appropriation, and theft to be “branded” as a color attributed to a group, look-ism and false representation of many tribes in the lands that STILL belong to them. Even if he looks proud, it's superficial in it's attempt.
youngblood
Jun 20, 2014 9:34 PM CDT
Damn nanny state!
Ucantusethatname
Jun 20, 2014 6:57 PM CDT
The left-wing, politically correct nut cases need to get a life.