Sports

Judge orders cancellation of Redskins trademark registration

RedskinsRedskins trademark: On Wednesday, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ordered the US Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration, upholding an earlier decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In its lawsuit to overturn the Appeal Board’s ruling, “the team argued that cancellation of its trademark infringed on its free-speech rights,” but Lee wrote in his 70-page ruling that “federal law allows the government to exercise editorial control over the content of the trademark registration program.”

Lee emphasized in his 70-page ruling that the organization is still free to use the name if it wishes — the team would just lose some legal protections that go along with federal registration of a trademark. Jeff Lopez, lawyer for the Native Americans who challenged the team’s name, said he expects the Redskins to appeal the ruling to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond. That decision put more pressure on the Washington club to change its name following decades of criticism by Native Americans among others who call it a slur. Lopez said his clients are hopeful that the team will take heed of the decision and change its name.

Rebecca Glenberg, legal director for the ACLU in Virginia, said “This ruling really is much broader than just the Washington football team’s terrible name.” With this ruling, “there is nothing to prevent the government from playing favorites when it decides which companies and organizations get federal trademark registration.”

For more information, visit: http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/redskins/2015/07/08/washington-redskins-trademark-cancelled/29857765/



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