Trademark board rules against Redskins name

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Submitted: Wed, 06/18/2014 - 2:34pm
Updated: Thu, 06/19/2014 - 12:04am

WASHINGTON (AP) — The US Patent Office has ruled the Washington Redskins nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans” and that the team’s federal trademarks for the name must be canceled.

The ruling announced Wednesday comes after a campaign to change the name has gained momentum over the past year.

The decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board is similar to one it issued in 1999. That ruling was overturned in 2003 in large part on a technicality because the courts decided that the plaintiffs were too old.

The new case was launched in 2006 by a younger group of Native Americans. A hearing was held in March 2013.

Just like last time, the Redskins can retain their trademark protection during an appeal.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


  • Guest000000 says:

    Whether we like it or not, the name will be changed. If not by the current ownership of the team, then the next owners. In fact when Mr. Snyder goes to sell the team, I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL attaches a condition that upon the sale the name must be changed. The league is growing weary of the bad PR this issue brings, and it’s not going away until it’s changed. The perfect solution would be to slap a picture of a potato on the side of the helmet and keep the name. Makes the Backwards Rednecks happy to still have the “Redskins” name and would appease the Mamby-Pamby Liberals by removing the Native American Iconography. Win-Win.

  • otherguest says:

    I did also find the article and do agree that it used the term “too old”, apparently regarding the plaintiffs. I didn’t buy it, so I looked further.

  • Kevin Wuzzardo says:

    The version of the story you’re reading here is from the Associated Press. Here’s an excerpt from’s story:

    “In 1999, a panel ruled to cancel the trademarks after a 16-year battle with Native American groups. It was eventually overturned on a technicality after the courts decided that the plaintiffs were too old and should have filed their complaint soon after the Redskins registered their nickname in 1967.”

    I, too, was a little confused by the “too old” part, but it appears it means exactly what it says.

    Hope that helps!
    News Content Manager
    WWAY NewsChannel 3

  • otherguest says:

    Quoted from a CNN Justice article dated Nov 16, 2009:

    “At issue was whether plaintiffs were decades too late in filing a lawsuit, or whether that registered trademark should have been denied years ago since as plaintiffs claim ” ‘redskins’ is today and has been historically a disparaging racial epithet that brings them into contempt, ridicule, and disrepute.”

    That was THE FIRST reference that came up as a result of a google search on “1999 trademark ruling redskins”. It took me about three minutes to find (and read) this quote which plainly indicates that the issue was that the plaintiffs were TOO LATE in filing, and not TOO OLD to file.

  • SayWha? says:

    He’s a pretty sharp guy.

    The only time he’s not is when he sings with Crosby, Stills and Nash, then he’s on key. The rest of the time he’s always at least a half tone sharper than whatever key he’s singing in.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    obviously I can’nt bring him up to my level. That’s evidenced by his complete misstatement on history.

    And I am lowering myself.

  • Guestman. says:

    Are you worried someone might usurp your role as Resident-Know-It-All?
    You’re just a “nattering nabob of negativism” to quote one of your republican jail-birds, excuse me, vice presidents.

  • Guestman. says:

    You’re just a class act, aren’t you?

  • jj says:

    Lets not forget we need to change a State’s Name. Oklahoma is the Choctaw Indian words which translate as red people.

    Also, Florida State Seminoles was given permission to continue to use their logo. If you want to regulate this you can’t pick who you want to change. So, it should be all or nothing.

  • Guest2287 says:

    Surf city tom, while I agree with what you said for the most part, I’d like you to reread the constitution and tell me where it says happiness? Common misconception among Americans.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    you are a troll. Is no one allowed to have an opinion but you?

    And, by the way, I spell my name Tom except on formal occassions, it’s spelled Thomas.

    Again, Johnny, you can stop worrying; the City Coucil included a 2% raise for the Film Commission.

  • Naturalist says:

    Every time you answer one of posts or he answers one of yours, whether you like it or not, you are on the same level.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    the least you could do is be factually accurate.

    Spiro Agnew never went to jail. He pleaded “nolo contendre”, I believe that is the correct term. He was fined $10,000; which was paid that day by Frank Sinatra. He resigned the position of Vice President; which led to Gerald Ford’s selection as Vice President. He may have had a short period of probation.

    But contrary to your mindless ranting, he served no jail time.

    You really should get to work on those resume mailings in the event the film industry tires of your antics.

    If possible, why not settle on 1 screen identity?

    Hard as I try, I just can not lower my brain’s functioning to your level.

  • Guestman. says:

    As you can see and hopefully comprehend, I actually corrected myself in that post.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    your post still refers to former VP Agnew as a jailbird.

    Where’s the correction?

  • says:

    That’s right my friend…drink the Kool-Aid. White men are evil as they slaughtered all the “red men” and enslaved the blacks. Congruent with your mind set, the native American would be living in peace and harmony in today’s world without the white man’s invasion. No one, even good ‘ol Adolf would have upset their harmony, right? Understand that thousand upon thousands (of all colors) put their lives on the line to free the reprocessed man(may I include Whitey too?). With all that being said (and most likely misunderstood again), Pocahontas and Me…we still love ya. Being 1/4 Native American….it makes me proud when the Redskins bust the Cowboys! I hope your touchy feely emotions will be warm and fuzzy when they quench another freedom of OUR speech.

  • chris jones says:

    Wow the government cares now about the feelings of NATIVE AMERICAN now. I guess they forgot about the slaughtering of the natives and stealing there land. More important things to worry about.

  • John Lapatchka says:

    I didn’t realize that in 1999 the same ruling was made bydallas the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, however, “that ruling was overturned in 2003 in large part on a technicality because the courts decided that the plaintiffs were too old.”

    What the hell does it that mean… “the plaintiffs were too old”????

  • OtherGuest says:

    Another example of extremely poor reporting and editing, to say the least. Whatever the intended effect of “too old”, it is obviously not as simple as it sounds, and should be explained. That is what reporting is, explaining things.

  • SurfCityTom says:

    that was a typo.

    The Redskins trademark was filed in 1967. The plaintiffs’ complaint was filed in 1999. There is a time period for the filing of such an action; they waited too long.

    On another note, why is there not a similar outcry over Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks, or Atlanta Braves?

    The Constitution gaurantees the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Nothing in there concerning the right not to be offended by another’s actions.

    What’s next? Ilegal immigrants filing because they are offended by the term “wet back”?

  • Guest2237 says:

    Back in October Nancy pelosi said the trademark should be revoked, obama touched on th subject. This was a ploy to distract Americans from the bungled rollout. After receiving direct orders from the Obama admin last week, the United States patent and trademark office has cancelled the trademark. Why now? The continuing scandal surrounding the IRS, most recently their computer crash that deleted specific emails. Benghazi, and Clinton distancing herself from Obama. The collapse of the Iraqi government, and the bold empowerment of terrorist organizations. The illegal release of 5 high level Taliban officials. All of these controversies are continuing and/or arising just before midterm elections, and it doesn’t look good for Obama.

    Simply put, the Obama administration has ordered this cancellation to strike right at the hearts of many devoted red skins fans and distract from real controversy. Unfortunately, if this cancellation is carried out it will open the trademark office up to be a powerful, speech controlling federal agency deeming what can and cannot be trademarked and marketed. Bye Atlanta braves, Florida Seminoles, Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, fighting Irish, et al.

  • 10101 says:

    The mandate for the United States Patent and Trademark Office in this case should be to provide trademark registration for product and intellectual property identification, which they already did some time ago, not to be the judge and jury of political correctness based on whatever way the political winds are currently blowing.

  • Guest Reply Redux says:

    Take a look and see who else is in line for the name calling junk. Let’s really get this thing ROLLING!

    1. Cleveland Browns (They don’t want to be compared to a A**h*le)
    2. Miami Dolphins (They don’t want to be compared to FISH but reall is a mammals!) **They will throw that one out**
    3. New York Jets (That name reminds them of 9/11)
    4. Carolina Panthers (Their team icon has got to go!!!!)
    So forth…and so on.

    Everyone is looking to get rich in a courtroom trial suing someone for Big Bucks!
    Hogwash and Boulder Dash!

    Oooops! I almost screwed up>
    PS: No offense intended to Boulder,Co or Boulder City,NV…or mudholes that hog’s waller ‘N :-(

    Reminds me of when the kid named Tommy Buttlips wanted to have his name changed when he turned 18. When he went in front of the Judge to ask for his name changed on his 18th birthday…the judge immediately said…”By all means young man…what would you like for your name to be?”
    Tommy replied…”Johnny Buttlips”

    The End

  • 1234321t says:

    They should name the team Washington idiots or Washington Crooks after the politicians in Washington and put the elephant and donkey on their helmets.

  • Barry says:

    Instead of worrying about being politically correct, Big Brother needs to worry about the cache’ of weapons including stinger missiles and the some 280 Abrams Tanks now in the hands of who knows who in Iraq.

    As for the RedSkins,,,,its a frigging team name that has been there for decades. Get over it already.

  • Wilmington Observer says:

    No person or group of people has the Constitutional right to not be offended.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Every race has something they could continually complain about if they so choose. I have some American Indian blood in my genes and the name Redskins does not affect me at all. In fact it should be looked at as an honor. Some folks want to always cry their “race” is put down all the time. Go back in history folks and just about every country’s citizens have been made a slave by another at one time in history be they white, black, red, yellow or brown. Look up the word ‘slave’ to see how it came in existence. So instead of constantly trying to bring pity on their little old selves why not just move on and get a grip on life. That’s how anyone gets ahead. And I do mean anyone as there are millionaires/ billionaires of every race in this world. No one should ever be thought less of because of their race like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said it was his dream that everyone should be judged by the “content of their character and not by the color of their skin.” Yet we have many that keep wanting to get special privileges because of just that. And when I hear them do this I know then they have no “character.”

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