U.S. Patent Office cancels Redskins trademark registration

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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.

Click here to read the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's full decision and other resources.



  • ASmith

    Just because you got away with something that is inappropriate or rude does not mean it gets to continue. And being a whole ONE QUARTER Cherokee does not make you the ruling authority as to why the name “Redskins” is acceptable. And if you have not heard any “Indians” complaining then you must not read much or watch TV often. This issue has been gaining national momentuem for well over a year now. Perhaps you should do some research to see just how many “Indians” have been complaining.

  • Christian Econ

    Objectivity defines words in terms of their usage. The Redskins (the team) are not using the word in a disparaging way, since they would not call themselves a disparaging name. Therefore the patent office are mistaken in their judgement. They need to reverse their erroneous decision.

  • Deb

    It seems rather erroneous to spend so much time and money to drop the patent when we are so very much in debt as a nation. Not to mention the money spent by the Indian Nation to get this in the forefront of news. This decision just caters to the Chinese and other countries outside of the US that will undoubtedly be sending inferior merchandise to further line their pockets and take money out of the US economy. Our enlightened US government at work:( Wonder when Texas will start their suit against disparaging the cowboys?

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