U.S. Patent Office cancels trademarks of NFL’s Redskins

Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III scrambles against the Philadelphia Eagles' defense during the second half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland in this file photo. Credit: Reuters
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III scrambles against the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense during the second half of their NFL football game in Landover, Maryland in this file photo. Credit: 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 say the name is a slur.

Five Native Americans had petitioned to overturn six Redskins trademarks, and evidence showed that “Redskins” was disparaging of Native Americans, the Patent Office 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.

A Redskins spokesman could not be reached immediately for comment.

Team owner Daniel Snyder has defied calls for 14 years to change the club’s name and logo, which dates from the 1930s. The franchise has come under increasing fire over the name.

Half the U.S. Senate, all of them Democrats, last month urged the NFL to endorse a name change for the franchise. Senator Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat whose name led the letter, called the ruling a “landmark decision.”

“I hope that all the business decisions at the team will be made with the understanding that this is no longer a business case and we will get off of this slur of a name that we need to change,” she said on the Senate floor.

President Barack Obama also has weighed in, saying before the ruling that if he owned the team he would consider changing the name.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in January that most football fans and Americans supported the Redskins keeping their name.

The named petitioner in the case, Blackhorse v. Pro Football Inc., is Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo psychiatric social worker.

In a USA Today profile this year, Blackhorse said she had considered what she might say to Snyder if she ever met him.

“I’d ask him, ‘Would you dare call me a redskin, right here, to my face?’” she said. “And I suspect that, no, he would not do that.”

The plaintiffs had largely made the same argument as those who filed a trademark suit in 1992. The Patent Office canceled the trademarks in 1999, but the decision was overturned on appeal.

A judge ruled in that case that the petitioners had waited too long to assert their rights after the first Redskins’ trademark was issued in 1967.

 



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Parched Texas town turns to sewage water to…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - When the going got tough due one of with worst droughts in a century, the parched Texas city of Wichita…

International

NYPD: Robber makes elderly man drive to Queens…

A robber grabbed an elderly man's neck outside a Queens supermarket, stole his wallet and made him drive to ATMs for withdrawals last week, police said.

Local

Manhunt on for armed bandits in $181,000 heist…

A manhunt was underway on Tuesday for masked bandits who reportedly stole roughly $181,000 in an armed robbery at Caesar's Atlantic City casino in New Jersey, police said.

Local

Tattooed, bearded suspect sought in Williamsburg bike theft:…

The suspected thief faces grand larceny charges after investigators said he entered the building on North 5th Street in Williamsburg.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

Arts

Theater: “Love and Human Remains” is like a…

"Love and Human Remains" is the worst show we've ever not walked out of.

Movies

Review: 'A Most Wanted Man' works better when…

In one of his last roles, Philip Seymour Hoffman headlines the John Le Carre adaptation of "A Most Wanted Man," about the pursuit of a Chechen refugee.

Television

TV watch list, Tuesday, July 22: 'Royal Pains,'…

Catch a new episode of "Royal Pains" where Hank has to help out a housesitter.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

NFL

5 players to watch at Giants training camp

Metro takes a look at five players who will be on everyone’s mind when Giants training camp gets underway.

NFL

'Vicktory dogs' travel road to rehabilitation seven years…

Of the dozens of dogs groomed by Bad Newz Kennels, 48 were rescued and 22 of the pit bull terriers have emerged at Best Friends Animal Society.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.

Parenting

Buy gently worn back-to-school clothes with Kidizen

Kidizen allows parents to buy and sell gently worn back-to-school clothes.