Much of Team's Defense of 'Redskins' Isn't Printable

Lawyers cite other dicey trademarks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2015 8:05 AM CST
Much of Team's Defense of 'Redskins' Isn't Printable
The Washington Redskins are fighting to keep their logo.   (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

The Washington Redskins are trying to overturn a court ruling and preserve the trademark of their name, and team lawyers filed a remarkable court briefing last week. In it, they reel off a list of other names that have won trademark protection, with the basic argument of, wait, you let these through but think "Redskins" is offensive? The Washington Post notes that many of them can't be printed in its newspaper, but some of the ones it could print will give you a general idea: Take Yo Panties Off clothing, Dangerous Negro shirts, Midget-Man condoms and inflatable sex dolls, Party With Sluts, Redneck Army apparel, and Dumb Blonde hair products. In fact, the brief reads as if it were written by Andrew Dice Clay, notes Deadspin, which quotes it in all its glory.

The team argues that not only have other dicey names received trademark protection, but that it would be a violation of First Amendment rights to block them. "A ban on registering ‘disparaging’ trademarks unconstitutionally burdens speech based on content and viewpoint, just as would a ban on registering copyrights for ‘disparaging’ books," write the team’s attorneys. Sports Illustrated called some of the companies named in the brief, including one whose name makes a creative connection between capitalism and donkey genitalia: "Comparing our statement on an economic system with a slur against a group of people is ridiculous and offensive," says the owner. "Maybe not as offensive as their team name, but still pretty offensive." (More Washington Redskins stories.)

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