U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademarks for Washington Redskins Na - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademarks for Washington Redskins Name

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WRIC) -

The U.S. Patent Office has ruled the Washington Redskins trademark must be canceled.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board says the nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans."

While the decision has a lot of people talking - some even rushing to buy Redskins gear - the decision itself changes nothing, at least in the short term. The team logo and name remain the same while the Redskins tackle this challenge in court. 

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

By revoking the team's trademarks, the U.S. Patent Office is eliminating federal protection of the Redskins name and logo. It could potentially enable anyone to manufacture and sell redskins merchandise.

"I wouldn't be making any orders now for Redskins memorabilia," says attorney Jeff Geiger. "I think it's going to be a while before it gets to that point."

Geiger says the redskins will appeal the decision and that it could be tied up in court for several years. While that fight ensues in federal court, the team trademarks remain protected.

"The trademarks they're talking about were registered during the 60's 70s and 1990. And so when you look at whether or not to cancel a mark, you have to look back at that time frame to see whether or not it was considered to be disparaging or derogatory."

In the court of public opinion, there were mixed reactions.

"I've never been offended by the name," says Redskins fan Thomas Roper. "I've been a lifelong fan and I think its kinda going to an extreme."

"I think they should change their name because Redskins is not a tribe," says football fan Herman Heard. "Redskins is the way they grouped a bunch of Indians together and called them the Redskins. To me, that's almost like an ethnic slur."

"I think a lot of people take pride in their name and what they do on the field and you know I'm just saddened to see that it's you know going in this direction," says Redskins fan Ben Beale.

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

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