In an unprecedented move, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled the trademark registration of the Washington Redskins.
The team name has long been disputed as being disparaging to Native Americans, and now five Native Americans have convinced the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the trademark registration.
While the ruling does not require the Redskins to change their name, it does limit their protection against trademark infringement. Without a federal trademark registration, the Redskins still have common-law trademark protection, but the protection is not as complete, and in some cases, ambiguous at best.
The Redskins said they plan to appeal the ruling.
Regardless of the outcome, the Washington Redskins will need to depend on knowledgeable trademark attorneys to guide them through the appeals process.
Although their trademark rights will remain intact during the appeal process, if the courts ultimately uphold the decision, then Redskins’ trademark attorneys must be ready to thwart the third party vendors that are sure to begin selling their brand, either unaware or unafraid of the common-law trademark protections that will still protect the Redskins to some extent.
The moral of the story here is that action regarding trademark law is often the result of financial or emotional reasons, and often times, as in this case, by both.
Our law firm and trademark attorneys have seen this many times regarding trademark registration and trademark disputes. We are often contracted to protect the financial well being of a client, but usually learn that there also exists emotional feelings such as the need for “security” in the case of trademark registrations, or a feeling of “theft” or “robbery” in the case of trademark infringement.
If you believe that you are in need of an attorney for trademark registration or trademark infringement in the South Florida area, we invite you to contact us to discuss your situation and the options that are available to you. Our trademark lawyers represent clients nationwide and locally in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Parkland, Coconut Creek, Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Aventura, Miami and all surrounding areas.
Contact the respected trademark attorneys of The Lomnitzer Law Firm to arrange an initial consultation.
Some aspects of this blog post are from the original article in the Chicago Tribune written by By Sam Farmer.