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The U.S. Patent Office Has Canceled the Redskins’ Trademark

The U.S. Patent Office Has Canceled the Redskins’ Trademark

In a very big blow to the Washington Redskins’ ongoing quest to keep their name despite the growing uproar about its racist connotations, the U.S. patent office has canceled six of the Redskins’ trademark registrations. This morning, the office ruled that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and therefore can’t be trademarked under a law that prohibits trademarks of offensive language. The case was brought by plaintiff Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo and psychiatric social worker who said, in a statement:

“I am extremely happy that the [Board] ruled in our favor. It is a great victory for Native Americans and for all Americans. We filed our petition eight years ago and it has been a tough battle ever since. I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed. The team’s name is racist and derogatory. I’ve said it before and I will say it again—if people wouldn’t dare call a Native American a ‘redskin’ because they know it is offensive, how can an NFL football team have this name?”

The ruling does not mean the Washington Redskins will have to change their name, but it’s pretty bad. Anyone who wants to use “Redskins” on apparel or merchandise will now be able to (including opposing NFL teams). The team itself will appeal the ruling …

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