U.S. Patent Office Terminates Redskins Trademark Registration, Calls It “Disparaging”

The Washington Post is reporting that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has decided to cancel six trademarks belonging to the Washington Redskins over backlash the team has recently received for using a so-called racist slur as its name.

“These registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office wrote in its decision. The cancelled trademarks reference broadcast rights, and it is still unclear if their cancelation will lead to a monitory impact on the National Football League team.

“The record establishes that, at a minimum, approximately thirty percent of Native Americans found the term ‘redskins’ used in connection with respondent’s services to be disparaging at all times including 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978, and 1990,” the USPTO wrote. “Thirty percent is without doubt a substantial composite. To determine otherwise means it is acceptable to subject to disparagement 1 out of every 3 individuals.”

Last May, ten members of Congress wrote letters to Redskins owner Dan Snyder, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, Redskins sponsor FedEx, and the other 31 NFL franchises urging the Washington Redskins to change their name because it is offensive to many Native Americans.

In 2004, the National Annenberg Election Survey asked 768 people who identified themselves as Indian whether they found the name “Washington Redskins” offensive. Almost 90 percent said it did not bother them.

Snyder has vowed that he will never change the Redskins’ name.


Jerome Hudson

Managing Editor

Jerome Hudson has written for numerous national outlets, including The Hill, National Review, and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was recognized as one of Florida’s emerging stars, having been included in the list “25 Under 30: Florida’s Rising Young Political Class.” Hudson is a Savannah, Ga. native who currently resides in Florida.

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