WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the federal trademarks for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins because they disparage Native Americans, the agency said on Wednesday.
The decision by a Patent Office administrative tribunal followed years of criticism of the Washington club by Native Americans and others who said the name was denigratory.
Evidence presented to the tribunal showed that “Redskins” was disparaging of Native Americans, it said in a statement.
“Thus, the federal registrations for the ‘Redskins’ trademarks involved in this proceeding must be canceled,” the agency said.
The decision can be reviewed by a federal court. The ruling does not mean that the trademarks can no longer be used by the NFL club, only that they are no longer registered, the statement said.
Washington Redskins Name Racist
What This Means for the Team
FTK UPDATE -Washington Redskins team owner Dan Snyder has come under fire recently for refusing to change the name, which is widely seen as insensitive to Native Americans. If passed, anyone would be able to use the Redskins name on merchandise, which would be a huge revenue loss to both the team and the NFL. The team will likely appeal the decision, and while that is under review, the Redkins can continue selling official merchandise.
Do you agree with this decision? Do you think it’s silly? Is there a simple solution no one has discussed yet because emotions are running so high?
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