The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration after a petition was filed by five Native Americans.
The official board ruling said the team’s name was “disparaging to Native Americans,” which goes against a federal trademark law that prohibits registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.”
The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin,” including “The Redskins,” “Washington Redskins,” and “Redskinettes.”
This does not, however, mean the team will have to change its name or stop using the trademarks.
The decision only applies to the federal registration of the trademarks, which include legal benefits, the ability to use the trademark symbol ®, and the ability to block importation of infringing or counterfeit foreign goods.