U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeals board cancels Redskins trademark

posted at 12:01 pm on June 18, 2014 by Allahpundit

The quickest way to catch you up on the procedural history here is to have you read this post from January, when the USPTO denied a trademark to a company that wanted to call its snack food “Redskins Hog Rind.” The NFL’s ‘Skins have actually had their mark canceled on “disparagement” grounds once before, in 1999, but that decision ended up being overturned in federal court on a procedural technicality. A group of Native Americans decided to have a second go at a suit a few years ago, and now here we are.

They had to show not only that the team’s name is disparaging, but that it was disparaging at the time the trademark was granted. Held: Bye bye, “Redskins.”

r1r2

The team’s intent in using the name doesn’t matter. It’s what a “substantial composite” of the group implicated by the mark perceives. Follow the last link and scroll down to page 81 for the dissent, which argues that the historical evidence is simply too equivocal to find that “Redskins” was disparaging when the mark was first granted. (Arguably true!) The ruling doesn’t mean the team can’t use the name, just that they can’t stop unlicensed manufacturers from using the name on their own merchandise. Soon you’ll be able to sell your very own ‘Skins gear if you like, and Dan Snyder will lose tens or even hundreds of millions of bucks in the process. But not just yet: An appeal will follow, as it did in 1999, which means the trademark will remain in effect for years to come while the litigation plays out. Assuming, of course, Snyder doesn’t drop “Redskins” first.

“Disparagement” is interesting grounds for canceling a mark. After all, in theory, the market should be able to handle the problem. If Snyder changed the team’s name to, say, the “Washington Blackskins,” the economic backlash would be sufficiently swift and stern that you wouldn’t need the USPTO to convince him to change his mind. Empowering the agency to cancel a mark is sort of the intellectual property equivalent of civil rights legislation: It lets the government step in and sanction a business on behalf of people who may not have enough political or economic clout to force the change otherwise. Is that true of Native Americans, though, given the number of Senate Democrats who are now invested in this issue? Is it also true that the term “Redskins” brings Native Americans “into contempt or disrepute”? The weird thing about “Redskins” is that it’s so closely associated with football and the team in the public’s mind, I think, that over time the sports meaning has completely overtaken the racially derogatory meaning. If someone walked up to you today and said “What do you think of the Redskins?”, you’d assume without a second thought that he was asking you about the NFC East, not casually slurring Native Americans. Hard to argue that the word’s “disparaging” in that context. On the other hand, if you let the mark stand for that reason, then theoretically “Washington Blackskins” would and should also stand as long as it’s been in use for a long enough time that the underlying racial meaning has basically melted away. The USPTO wouldn’t go for that, so “Redskins” has to fall. Not because it’s actually disparaging but for reasons of simple consistency.

Exit question: How about “Washington Parasites”? “Washington Cronies”? If we’re going to use disparaging names in connection with the D.C. area, let’s really do it, you know?


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So 70% don’t find it disparaging.

rbj on June 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM

It doesn’t “offend a lot of people”.

It offends some pansy liberals. And since pansy liberals run the media in America, the rest of us get it shoved down our throats.

Moesart on June 18, 2014 at 12:03 PM

Thin Skins

Bmore on June 18, 2014 at 12:05 PM

for so many offended its odd only 5 filed suit.

dmacleo on June 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Who on Earth would use the term “Redskin” to disparage a Native American? I believe that remark would be met with laughter.
Such made up outrage

CBWV99 on June 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Washington Unindicted Co-Conspirators.

GreenBlade on June 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Are we putting up with this? No push back?

BetseyRoss on June 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Years ago I was on an internet chat site and registered using the nickname “ShockAndAwe”, referring to our Iraq War strategy. A few days later they deleted my account. Why? Someone had complained that my nickname was offensive. And this was a site where politics was often discussed.

LashRambo on June 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

If this stands, they can go after the Braves, the Indians, the Vikings, and the Fighting Irish. Every one of those teams should stand behind the Redskins, now, with money.

njcommuter on June 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

“Disparagement” is interesting grounds for canceling a mark. After all, in theory, the market should be able to handle the problem.

Not really. Disparagement isn’t going to trigger a market backlash. After all, if the left created a T-shirt that said “Republicans are all racists and sexists,” it would sell like hotcakes, bought up by Democratic activists.

That said, “Redskins” is not derogatory, and the TTAB should reverse its idiotic decision.

Stoic Patriot on June 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Can we please get Dick’s Sporting Goods Store’s patent revoked as well? That name offends me.

VinceOfDoom on June 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

I find anything with the word “Rainbow” in it disparaging, offensive, and clearly an attempt to hold all straight, white males in contempt and disrepute.

Harbingeing on June 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Washington Assistant Deputy Undersecretaries.

GreenBlade on June 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Who on Earth would use the term “Redskin” to disparage a Native American? I believe that remark would be met with laughter.
Such made up outrage

CBWV99 on June 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

Your problem is you’re using your mind to try to understand the world.

/

LashRambo on June 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Since when is being “offensive” a federal case?
You’re offended. So what?

I’m offended by a lot, but my complaints aren’t turned into court cases.

freedomfirst on June 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Disparagement = hate speech = we cancel you out because we are the tyranny of the minority.

rlwo2008 on June 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

The problem is, there are no actual redskins playing there, so the team has as much right to name itself so as I to call my business “Microsoft” or “Apple”. On the other hand, renaming one of NBA teams as “Blackskins”…

Rix on June 18, 2014 at 12:10 PM

LashRambo on June 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Good point.
Ed, I’m offended by libtard’s handle!

freedomfirst on June 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

I find anything with the word “Rainbow” in it disparaging, offensive, and clearly an attempt to hold all straight, white males in contempt and disrepute.

Harbingeing on June 18, 2014 at 12:08 PM

If 30% is the threshold, how about anything with the word “social” or “society” in it, as intending to diminish my individuality and promote a collective, hive mentality.

/I don’t want any social disease

LashRambo on June 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

So I’m guessing that the Redskins can stall this out until 2017 and have a Republican Administration just make it go away for another 8 years?

LukeinNE on June 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Washington Unindicted Co-Conspirators.

GreenBlade on June 18, 2014 at 12:06 PM

More catchy!

VegasRick on June 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

This is so absurd.

changer1701 on June 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

So if I understand this correctly, the USPTO found the name “Redskins” offensive… and made it available to anyone who wants to use it.

PersonFromPorlock on June 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

For f*cks sake.

So glad all of the other important issues – for native Americans and everyone else – have been resolved to the point where *this* needs urgent government intervention.

Native Americans must have completely eliminated all of the poverty/unemployment/dependency issues they’ve had to struggle with for so many decades – wonderful news!

/s

Midas on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

In School PE everyone had the same PE clothes so to separate teams we had shirts versus skins i.e. one team took off their shirts. (Boys teams of course). The team could just be the “Skins” and feature a barechested behemoth football player type.

KW64 on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

The Washington Conglomeration of Colored Persons

Now who can argue with that?

HotAirian on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Is there any doubt that obama is behind this?

Pork-Chop on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Snyder should say he is going to stick with a derogatory name and change it to the Washington Senators.

Rocks on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

So the Federal Government can deprive people of property rights based on who is offended?

So the tyranny of a 30% minority gets to rule over 70%?

My suggestion from the headlines thread: A state should set up a trademark agency to rival the Feds. Since the other 49 states have to recognize “full faith and credit” in the act of that state (just like they have to recognize the gay marriages) the feds then lose their exclusive authority.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Snyder should say he is going to stick with a derogatory name and change it to the Washington Senators.

Rocks on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

As a tribute to the foreign policy successes of the Godking he should change the name to the “Redlines”.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Other suggestions…

Washington Libtards

Washington MFers

Washington Leeches

txdoc on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Daniel Snyder should move the team to Los Angeles and change the name

Screw em !!

jake-the-goose on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Time to bring complaints against the NAACP and the United Ne-gro College Fund. There’s no place in our society for these anachronistic racist names.

crrr6 on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

You will comply….

d1carter on June 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Snyder must not donate to the right political party.

HumpBot Salvation on June 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Other suggestions…

Washington Libtards

Washington MFers

Washington Leeches

txdoc on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Washington Tyrant

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Look out, Cleveland!!!!! You’re next!!!!!

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Time to bring complaints against the NAACP and the United Ne-gro College Fund. There’s no place in our society for these anachronistic racist names.

crrr6 on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Not to mention that the whole organization is racist.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Funny how The Law changes along with whatever leftists are kicking up a fuss over. No need to actually pass anything or even have an executive order. Judges can just do whatever they feel like doing.

They really ought to do away with the antiquated practice of writing opinions and just crank this up after each new edict from the bench.

forest on June 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

In School PE everyone had the same PE clothes so to separate teams we had shirts versus skins i.e. one team took off their shirts. (Boys teams of course). The team could just be the “Skins” and feature a barechested behemoth football player type.

KW64 on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

This.

Probably the best path forward.

Midas on June 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Washington Rent-seekers?

WisRich on June 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Look out, Cleveland!!!!! You’re next!!!!!

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

ESPN is already waging a war on their own over the Cleveland Indians. They refuse to show the team’s official logo.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Washington maroons

cmsinaz on June 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Dan Snyder will lose tens or even hundreds of millions of bucks in the process.

The NFL divides the merchandising income evenly among the league’s teams. This will hit all the owners, not just Snyder. The NFL will appeal this as it affects their market.

Mallard T. Drake on June 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

What about Kansas City football and Atlanta baseball!?!?!?

*gasp*

Surely those names are degenerating as well….

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Time to bring complaints against the NAACP and the United Ne-gro College Fund. There’s no place in our society for these anachronistic racist names.

crrr6 on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Yep, right now.

Midas on June 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

Washington Rent-seekers?

WisRich on June 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Washington Earmarks

Washington Establishment

Washington Spenders

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:17 PM

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

If Snyder tried to changed his team name to the Washington Ne-gros, he’d be denied. Yet, the UNCF still has their trademark.

crrr6 on June 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Harry Reid forces Redskins to comply with his wishes….

d1carter on June 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Judges can just do whatever they feel like doing.

They really ought to do away with the antiquated practice of writing opinions and just crank this up after each new edict from the bench.

forest on June 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

These aren’t judges.

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

I find the name obama disparaging, can we ban that or just rename it to doofus idiot

ConservativePartyNow on June 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

Take out the ‘offensive’ part, and go for the youth market at the same time: The “DC Skinzz”. Cool.

otlset on June 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

snider should sue the NFL for not protecting his rights in the franchise. every other owner can then pay snider for all his damages. yeah thats gonna happen.

t8stlikchkn on June 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

I am not savvy in legal affairs. So, the name Redskins or some variation of it is not trademark protected…. doesn’t sound like it’s prohibited from use… am I correct?

Wait… I was guilty of not reading the ENTIRE post.
Seems like the Redskins should not skip a beat and continue using the name. How large a profit does the NFL make on the brand name?

freedomfirst on June 18, 2014 at 12:19 PM

http://files.redskins.com/pdf/Statement-by-Bob-Raskopf-Trademark-Attorney-for-the-Washington-Redskins.pdf

REDSKINS say won’t change a thing.

But it IGNORES what’s REALLY harming Indians: Disenrollment, APARTHEID, Segregation, Theft of Per Capita:

http://www.originalpechanga.com/2014/04/apartheid-at-pechanga-reservation-yes.html

Tell your Senators to GET REAL

originalpechanga on June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

ESPN is already waging a war on their own over the Cleveland Indians. They refuse to show the team’s official logo.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Um….I was talking about the football team…the Browns

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

If Snyder tried to changed his team name to the Washington Ne-gros, he’d be denied. Yet, the UNCF still has their trademark.

crrr6 on June 18, 2014 at 12:18 PM

The NAACP should lose it’s trademark too, “colored people” is offensive.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

If we’re going to do this right the Washington football team should be fully funded by the tax payers, use the states monopoly on violence to demand that the coaching staff gets to pick all of the players on it’s roster and all the players on the opposing teams rosters, and gets to pick it’s schedule.

Maybe we should just ban all the other teams. Afterall, the new Washington team should be the only football team we watch together – just like government is the only thing we all do together.

gwelf on June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Washington Brown Shirts.

ROCnPhilly on June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

How about the Washington rednecks?

dougless on June 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

So if I understand this correctly, the USPTO found the name “Redskins” offensive… and made it available to anyone who wants to use it.

PersonFromPorlock on June 18, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Exactly.

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Um….I was talking about the football team…the Browns…

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Hey, don’t go there!

(Long suffering Cleveland Browns fan here). And don’t touch my Cincinnati Reds either.

Next movement: PETA and the Sierra Club will start a campaign to remove all animal and plant names from sports teams.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Dan Snyder should revive the Washington Bullets name….

He should name it something that would cause the left to go nuts.

Maybe partner with the NRA with some name. Snyder should do it out of spite of course…

William Eaton on June 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

If this stands, they can go after the Braves, the Indians, the Vikings, and the Fighting Irish. Every one of those teams should stand behind the Redskins, now, with money.

njcommuter on June 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Alternative approach: Give the progtard fascists what they want, good and hard. Sue EVERY single mascot possible out of existence on the same grounds, including those you list and more. Eventually, you’ll have them in a circular firing squad, just like they are in California regarding teacher tenure.

Give them what they want. Cram it down their fascist throats.

xNavigator on June 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

How long before the LGBTUVWXYZ lobby goes after the Green Bay franchise?

One32ndHekawi on June 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

What if they keep the name and change the logo to a potato?

ROCnPhilly on June 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Washington Brown Shirts.

ROCnPhilly on June 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Washington Gestapo

Washington Massacre (referring to Waco)

Washington Oppressors

Washington Ditherers (another tribute to godking’s foreign policy)

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Time to bring complaints against the NAACP and the United Ne-gro College Fund. There’s no place in our society for these anachronistic racist names.

crrr6 on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

Not to mention “Ebony” magazine and the Congressional Black Caucus.

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Alternative approach: Give the progtard fascists what they want, good and hard. Sue EVERY single mascot possible out of existence on the same grounds, including those you list and more. Eventually, you’ll have them in a circular firing squad, just like they are in California regarding teacher tenure.

Give them what they want. Cram it down their fascist throats.

xNavigator on June 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Give it right back to them. Sue every liberal organization that has an offensive name, such as the NAACP (colored people) the UNCF (use of negro), etc.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

Not to mention “Ebony” magazine and the Congressional Black Caucus.

ladyingray on June 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM

And Miss Black America.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Alternative approach: Give the progtard fascists what they want, good and hard. Sue EVERY single mascot possible out of existence on the same grounds, including those you list and more. Eventually, you’ll have them in a circular firing squad, just like they are in California regarding teacher tenure.

Give them what they want. Cram it down their fascist throats.

xNavigator on June 18, 2014 at 12:22 PM

Give it right back to them. Sue every liberal organization that has an offensive name, such as the NAACP (colored people) the UNCF (use of ne-gro), etc.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

It’s about time. Now I can sleep at night knowing that some people somewhere are not going to be offended by something that pretty much makes absolutely no difference in anything that will effect anyone’s daily life.

bandutski on June 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

The weird thing about “Redskins” is that it’s so closely associated with football and the team in the public’s mind, I think, that over time the sports meaning has completely overtaken the racially derogatory meaning. If someone walked up to you today and said “What do you think of the Redskins?”, you’d assume without a second thought that he was asking you about the NFC East, not casually slurring Native Americans.

Right, so the people who are pushing for the name change are actually reviving a racist term.

Mark1971 on June 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

How long until Notre Dame loses its trademark?
If I recall, it was originally given to them by a reporter mocking the Irish players on the team.

irishgladiator63 on June 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

It’s about time. Now I can sleep at night knowing that some people somewhere are not going to be offended by something that pretty much makes absolutely no difference in anything that will effect anyone’s daily life.

bandutski on June 18, 2014 at 12:26 PM

Leftists sit on their asses all day with time on their hands to agitate, because the conservatives are going to work every day to pay their welfare checks.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Dan Snyder should relocate the team to an Indian reservation and save a bundle on taxes and tell Washington to shove it. Otherwise the Browns are next as soon as Obama works up the righteous indignation.

meci on June 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Dammit, just rename the team to “Washington Lobbyists”. They always win, don’t they?

Rix on June 18, 2014 at 12:28 PM

How about the Washington rednecks?

dougless on June 18, 2014 at 12:21 PM

Watchu got ‘gain rednecks?

At one point or another, every noun will be offensive to someone. How about using zip codes?

Redskins = 20147

freedomfirst on June 18, 2014 at 12:29 PM

30% of banana slugs find this offensive.

Akzed on June 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

Fighting Irish.

njcommuter on June 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

You beat me to it! Got off the phone with my SiL a few minutes ago and told him I need to call my attorney about suing Notre Dame. As an Irish-American, I’m tired of the disparaging innuendo that just because my grandparents hailed from The Emerald Isle, I’m some sort of belligerent.

And I can’t believe it, this is the first time I’ve ever referred to myself as an “Irish-American”. I’ve never even been to Ireland.

oldleprechaun on June 18, 2014 at 12:30 PM

So the Federal Government can deprive people of property rights based on who is offended?

So the tyranny of a 30% minority gets to rule over 70%?

My suggestion from the headlines thread: A state should set up a trademark agency to rival the Feds. Since the other 49 states have to recognize “full faith and credit” in the act of that state (just like they have to recognize the gay marriages) the feds then lose their exclusive authority.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:13 PM

What property rights are being deprived?

segasagez on June 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

I understand that the IRS has filed a similar suit against the Dodgers. And the National Association of Little People has similarly filed against the Giants. Guess they’ll have to change their names to LA Gays, and SF Trannies, complete with rainbow uniforms.

This is so absurd.

changer1701 on June 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

Absurd does not even begin to describe it.

NOMOBO on June 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Dan Snyder should relocate the team to an Indian reservation and save a bundle on taxes and tell Washington to shove it. Otherwise the Browns are next as soon as Obama works up the righteous indignation.

meci on June 18, 2014 at 12:27 PM

Does Obama even know where Cleveland is?

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Since Harry Reid is pushing this, Dennis Miller suggests “Reds”…….as new name.

d1carter on June 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

I bet White Devils would be just fine.

ROCnPhilly on June 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

What property rights are being deprived?

segasagez on June 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Without trademark protection ANYONE can use their logos, name, etc. Meaning the Redskins (and the NFL) just lost exclusive rights to it.

That is deprivation of property.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Using the term ” White House” is racist.

idesign on June 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

How about the “Wasgington Allied Association of Democratic Donors, Friends of Gregoire, #PuntPatty and CantVoteWell”

I think it’s self-explanatory.

Recon5 on June 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

The Washington Barry-Cades

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Time to bring complaints against the NAACP and the United Ne-gro College Fund. There’s no place in our society for these anachronistic racist names.

crrr6 on June 18, 2014 at 12:14 PM

It’s easy to complain on message boards, but harder to actually put in the effort to make the change.

If these names offend you, do like the people in the OP did and sue.

If you aren’t going to do anything about it, though, why would these things change?

segasagez on June 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

I’m of 100% Nordic descent. The Minnesota Vikings are offensive to me only when they play poorly, not because of their name.

Hat Trick on June 18, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Let’s do that with Apple.

I’d love to use their symbol to sell…items

rightside on June 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

I’m no legal expert, but I thought that in order to have standing to sue you have to show you’ve actually been hurt by something. For instance, the tribes could try to demonstrate that the name “Redskins” encourages people to hold negative views of American Indians. Can someone help me out here?

Saying that the government can revoke a trade mark because a significant portion (how much is significant?) of some subset of the population (how are they defined?) doesn’t like it all seems arbitrary to me.

Mahna Mahna on June 18, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Without trademark protection ANYONE can use their logos, name, etc. Meaning the Redskins (and the NFL) just lost exclusive rights to it.

That is deprivation of property.

ConstantineXI on June 18, 2014 at 12:32 PM

But how is that a deprivation of property? Can the team still use the logo?

segasagez on June 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

What property rights are being deprived?

segasagez on June 18, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Start selling Apple knock-offs as actual Apple products and let their lawyers explain it to you.

gwelf on June 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

A couple more ideas:

The Washington Spendthrifts
The Washington Casino Operators (considering the multitude of Indian casinos there are)

While we’re at it, let’s sue Wake Forest University for their use of the Demon Deacon as its mascot!

Sir Rants-A-Lot on June 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM

So libs now have a new definition of what constitutes “substantial”.

Maybe the Senate Republicans can over-ride Democrats, by arguing that their vote is “substantial”.

GarandFan on June 18, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Start selling Apple knock-offs as actual Apple products and let their lawyers explain it to you.

gwelf on June 18, 2014 at 12:37 PM

Our intellectual property rights are completely messed out. Look at Disney and how they keep their characters out of the public domain.

I just thought it was ironic that a team using a native american as a mascot and calling themselves the “Redskins” making an argument on intellectual property rights.

segasagez on June 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.

As today’s dissenting opinion correctly states, “the same evidence previously found insufficient to support cancellation” here “remains insufficient” and does not support cancellation.

This ruling – which of course we will appeal – simply addresses the team’s federal trademark registrations, and the team will continue to own and be able to protect its marks without the registrations. The registrations will remain effective while the case is on appeal.

When the case first arose more than 20 years ago, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled on appeal in favor of the Washington Redskins and their trademark registrations.

Why?

As the district court’s ruling made clear in 2003, the evidence ‘is insufficient to conclude that during the relevant time periods the trademark at issue disparaged Native Americans…’ The court continued, ‘The Court concludes that the [Board’s] finding that the marks at issue ‘may disparage’ Native Americans is unsupported by substantial evidence, is logically flawed, and fails to apply the correct legal standard to its own findings of fact.’ Those aren’t my words. That was the court’s conclusion. We are confident that when a district court review’s today’s split decision, it will reach a similar conclusion.

In today’s ruling, the Board’s Marc Bergsman agreed, concluding in his dissenting opinion:

It is astounding that the petitioners did not submit any evidence regarding the Native American population during the relevant time frame, nor did they introduce any evidence or argument as to what comprises a substantial composite of that population thereby leaving it to the majority to make petitioner’s case have some semblance of meaning.

The evidence in the current claim is virtually identical to the evidence a federal judge decided was insufficient mo

re than ten years ago. We expect the same ultimate outcome here.”

jake-the-goose on June 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

During the Obama regime, everything is about politics.

bw222 on June 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

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