Trademark Board Rules Against Redskins Name
The U.S. Patent Office ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans” and that the team’s federal trademarks for the name must be canceled. The 2-1 ruling comes after a campaign to change the name has gained momentum over the past year. The team doesn’t immediately lose trademark protection and is allowed to retain it during an appeal. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has refused to change the team’s name, citing tradition, but there has been growing pressure including statements in recent months from President Barack Obama, lawmakers of both parties and civil rights groups. The case was launched in 2006 by a younger group of Native Americans, and was heard by the board in March of last year. The group argued that the Redskins should lose their federal trademark protection based on a law that prohibits registered names that are disparaging, scandalous, contemptuous or disreputable.
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