U.S. Patent And Trademark Office Cancels Redskins Trademark

It is a good day when blatant racism and disrespect gets addressed in a good way.  This is not the end of the battle, but it moves us forward.

Below is a collection of the news sources and their reports on the Patent and Trademark office.

From Business Insider

The woman who was the driving force behind the cases that led the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office to cancel the federal trademarks for the Washington Redskins Wednesday is 69-year-old grandmother and longtime Native American activist, Suzan Harjo.

From Indian Country Today

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six Federal trademark registrations for the Washington Redskins. The PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeals Board issued its decision Wednesday morning.

From Huffington Post

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name “Washington Redskins” on Wednesday on the grounds that the football team’s name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and thus in violation of federal trademark laws banning offensive or disparaging language.

From Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal trademark board ruled Wednesday that the Washington Redskins nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans” and that the team’s trademark protections should be canceled, a decision that applies new financial and political pressure on the team to change its name.

From USA Today

In a landmark ruling released Wednesday morning, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) canceled six federal trademark registrations of the Washington Redskins, finding that their nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans.”

Like all legal decisions, this one needs some parsing out. What, exactly, does this mean? Here are three questions to better understand the decision.


In what might be the most significant pressure put on Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change his team’s name, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the team’s trademarks on the basis that it is “disparaging to Native Americans.”

In its 2-1 ruling issued on Wednesday, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, an independent tribunal within the USPTO, wrote that it was charged with determining only whether the trademark was offensive to the people it referenced, not the entire U.S. population. Five Native Americans, representing four tribes, brought the case against the league in 2006.


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