RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) -
The Washington Redskins have filed an appeal in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to the split decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, which ordered the cancellation of the team's federal trademark registrations.
In a statement, the Redskins said that they “believe the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision.”
In their complaint, the NFL team explains that the Court should reverse the decision levied by the board and “properly find that Native Americans did not consider the team name ‘Washington Redskins' to be disparaging during the relevant time frame of 1967-1990.”
The team allow alleges that the cancellation of registrations on the “Washington Redskins” trademark, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board “improperly penalized the Washington Redskins based on the content of the team's speech in violation of the First Amendment.”
“The Washington Redskins look forward to all of the issues in the case being heard in federal court under the federal rules of evidence.The team is optimistic that the court will correctly and carefully evaluate the proofs, listen to the arguments, and confirm the validity of the Washington Redskins' federal trademark registrations, just as another federal court has already found in a virtually identical case," said Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the Washington Redskins.
The team also said that Washington's trademark registrations remain in effect while the case is in federal court, adding that they always have the right to use its marks and enforce them against infringers and counterfeiters.
The debate of the use of the name “Redskins” has been ongoing for years but has recently gained more attention after several Native American groups came out against the team's use of the name, with the National Association of American Indians releasing a YouTube video and Super Bowl ad voicing their opposition.
Wednesday, a group called “Redskins Facts” released a video of their own on YouTube, featuring a number of Native American men and women who discussed why they were not offended by the team's name.