State Laws Banning the “Redskins” Nickname Passed in CA Following Federal Proposals

On September 10, 2015, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) threatened to introduce a bill proposing to revoke the NFL’s federal antitrust exemption status for permitting the continued use of the Washington Redskins moniker. Now, the Redskins nickname is being threatened under state laws in California.

The “California Racial Mascots Act,” as the new legislation is known, passed in the California state assembly on Thursday September 10, 2015—the same day Norton made statements introducing her new bill proposal. The Act now rests on the desk of …

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Gaining Momentum: Opposition in Redskins Lawsuit Enter Into Similar ‘Slants’ Case

On Friday, July 24, Amanda Blackhorse and the other Native Americans challenging the Washington Redskins over the team’s trademark registrations jumped into a parallel case in the Federal Circuit.  The other case involves The Slants, a band that was refused a trademark in 2013 due to the name being offensive to Asian-Americans, and the en banc Federal Circuit’s decision could weigh heavily in the challengers’ case against the football team.

The Slants are currently arguing that the government’s ban on disparaging trademarks violates the First …

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Downward Spiral Continues for Redskins as Judge Upholds Trademark Cancellation Decision

On Wednesday, July 08, a federal judge ordered the cancellation of the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations. United States District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ruled that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office should cancel the team’s trademark, finding that the name “may disparage” Native Americans.

Judge Gerald Bruce Lee’s decision affirmed the earlier ruling by the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.  In that ruling, the appeal board held in a 2-1 vote that the team’s moniker is offensive to Native Americans and therefore ineligible …

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Sacking the Opposition: Redskins Fight Amicus Brief in Trademark Dispute

On Tuesday, June 30, the owner of the Washington Redskins challenged the Native American defendants’ request to introduce a parallel case’s amicus brief that addresses the rights to federal action of trademark holders under the Lanham Act and related First Amendment issues. According to the team’s objection, the brief was untimely, had not been allowed by the court, and offered further argument that did not constitute an authority.

At a hearing on June 23, the defendants argued that the Supreme Court’s decision in Walker v.

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From Football to Cheerleading: Washington Redskins Voice Support for Band’s Trademark Case

By now, most people are aware that last summer, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration after finding the team’s name and logo to be disparaging to American Indians.  Last week, however, the team took a serious interest in a lower-profile case involving a band called the Slants.

Previously, the USPTO refused the band’s two trademark applications, declaring that “slants” is disparaging to people of Asian descent.  On Thursday, June 18, the team threw its support behind the band, …

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Washington Redskins Argue a Violation of their Free Speech

The Washington Redskins fought back against the recent decision by the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelling the team’s  trademark protection over the use of the term ‘redskin’ as many Native American groups find it disparaging.

The court papers filed Monday by the team argue the law denying registration of disparaging trademarks is unconstitutional because it infringes on the team’s First Amendment right to free speech.  The team’s attorneys argue the cancellation of the trademarks disfavors the team and singles them out, “interfering with the …

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Another Hurdle for the Washington Redskins Fight for Trademark Protection

In June, a group of five Native Americans successfully challenged the Washington Redskins’ trademark as disparaging. Now, the five Native Americans asked a federal judge to dismiss the team’s counter-lawsuit to reverse the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) decision. The Native Americans filed a motion in U.S. District Court arguing that the team does not have a legal right to sue the five Native Americans to reverse the USPTO’s ruling.

After the USPTO ruled in favor of the Native Americans, the Washington Redskins …

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Washington Redskins Claim Trademark Cancellation Unconstitutional

On Thursday, August 14, The Washington Redskins football team filed a complaint in the united states district court for the eastern district of Virginia against the five petitioners who sought the cancellation of their six federal trademark registrations protecting the term “Redskins.”  The complaint seeks to have the petitioners’ victory overturned, reinstating the trademarks.

In June, a three judge panel, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the team’s six federal trademarks protecting their name, “Redskins.”  The judges …

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Washington Redskins Trademark Registration Cancelled

The Washington Redskins six trademark registrations have been cancelled by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The office reasoned that the registrations were “disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.”  Reviewed by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the decision was based on federal trademark law that prevents registration of trademarks that “may disparage” certain groups or individuals or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.”

“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks

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