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Thread: US Patent & Trademark Office cancels Redskins trademark.

  1. #1

    US Patent & Trademark Office cancels Redskins trademark.

    SportsCenter@SportsCenter 12m
    THIS JUST IN: US Patent & Trademark Office cancels Redskins trademark. Team will no longer have exclusive rights to name.

  2. We'll see if the ruling can withstand an appeal. Until that process is finished, trademark protection remain in place. It is also worth noting that this case has been going on since 2006. This is three years after the court threw out a prior case (2003, I think) because the plaintiffs were judged to be too elderly.
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    I don't want the name to change. But this time it seems to have momentum. It keeps on and on. I fear it may happen. I mourn the loss of the helmet. And I hope like hell they don't choose a stupid, stupid name like Wizards.
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    Ya got several years at least Wax. The last suit took from 1992 (filing date, the initial ruling as in that case was also for the plaintiffs) to 2009 before SCOTUS finally denied the last appeal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by edave View Post
    Ya got several years at least Wax. The last suit took from 1992 (filing date, the initial ruling as in that case was also for the plaintiffs) to 2009 before SCOTUS finally denied the last appeal.
    Reading this, if the law rather than politics is the deciding issue, the Redskins will likely win in court again.


    STATEMENT BY BOB RASKOPF, TRADEMARK ATTORNEY FOR THE WASHINGTON REDSKINS

    LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. – The following is a statement by Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the Washington Redskins, regarding today’s split decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board:

    “We’ve seen this story before. And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.

    ‘Redskins Are Denied Trademarks’

    -Washington Post, April 3, 1999

    ‘Redskins Can Keep Trademark, Judge Rules’

    -Washington Post, October 2, 2003

    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 more than ten years ago. We expect the same ultimate outcome here.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
    Reading this, if the law rather than politics is the deciding issue, the Redskins will likely win in court again.
    That argument ignores two things.

    Since the 80's (maybe earlier), no new trademarks using the term Redskin have been approved. There are many valid reasons for this change. I tend to put the happenings at Wounded Knee at the top of the list but maybe it was just the Billy Jack movies. Either way, public opinion swung, natives were cool, making fun of them not as much. Trademark law specifically addresses exactly this kind of issue because a trademark is guaranteed by governmental decree against certain kinds of infringement (mostly international, but there are some domestic protections as I recall). If the government can't defend your name, then it's about impossible to defend the trademark.

    The primary reason for overturning the previous ruling was the age of the litigants. It was argued that they were too old to suddenly be offended by the commercial use of the term 'Redskin', having lived with it for a significant portion of their adult lives. That was an excellent argument for which the plaintiffs had no counter the last time around, but won't be useful this time.

    This isn't over, but it will be interesting.

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    I don't see any age reference in the quoted material. I've read that same contention elsewhere. If it's there, I guess they're not talking about it. We'll see.

    As for no new trademarks being issued, that's irrelevant to this particular case.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
    I don't see any age reference in the quoted material. I've read that same contention elsewhere. If it's there, I guess they're not talking about it. We'll see.
    You quoted a snippet from a firm representing the Washington POV. There's a whole world outside for you to search and explore.

    Quote Originally Posted by wxwax View Post
    As for no new trademarks being issued, that's irrelevant to this particular case.
    You don't see that as germane, more than three decades of federal court aversion to issuing a particular name? Interesting. For one who often plays the peoples advocate, and if not, the popular advocate; that's a strange place to be.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by edave View Post
    You quoted a snippet from a firm representing the Washington POV. There's a whole world outside for you to search and explore.

    You don't see that as germane, more than three decades of federal court aversion to issuing a particular name? Interesting. For one who often plays the peoples advocate, and if not, the popular advocate; that's a strange place to be.
    Are you this supercilious in real life?
    Last edited by wxwax; 06-19-2014 at 07:52 PM.
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