Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A Washington Redskins helmet against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Cancelling the Redskins trademark won't stop use of the word

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The U.S. Patent office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, meaning that the Redskins name and logo could be used by anyone.  This in turn would make the name a lot less valuable to the team and the NFL.  But this trademark cancellation has happened before and was overturned on appeal.  So will this change anything?

At the moment no, because the Redskins and the NFL will certainly appeal this ruling.  And based on the prior rulings, they probably feel good about their chances of appeal.  Team President Bruce Allen stated he felt the Redskins were fine in light of the ruling by the U.S. Patent Office.  So the team won’t be making any sudden changes any time soon.

Also, for those thinking this is a huge victory in the fight to force the Redskins to change their name, I wouldn’t claim victory so fast.  Because this ruling could actually end up working in reverse for opponents of the name, as it opens it up to be used even more frequently than it was before.

A trademark on the name controlled it’s use, while cancelling the Redskins trademark gives others the ability to use the word with greater frequency.  So in the long run, this might hurt the NFL and the Redskins, but it won’t stop other people from using the word Redskins.  It just might encourage the use of it even more.

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Tags: Redskins Name Issue Redskins Trademark Washington Redskins

  • bk

    Here are some names I find Offensive: Reid, Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Obama, Liberal, Welfare Cheaters, Govt Leeches, Union slugs, etc….
    Also: Cowboys…Browns (aren’t there Brown people who are offended?) Indians? Chiefs? 69ers?

    • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

      I see your point, but names like Indians and Chiefs aren’t seen as disparaging or as racial slurs. There in lies the trademark problem, especially with the patent office. But we’ll see how it all turns out.

      • bk

        According to the majority of native americans, particularly the tribe that was honored by painting themselves red, neither is Redskins… Do you want to tell me that if you go up to any native american and call him an “indian” that he is not offended? Or have you ever spoken to a native american in public and just said “hey, what’s up CHief” offensive? I bet they say yes…
        Then at what point do we as a society determine the level at which we need to change names? If one person is offended? 1000? 1 million? what number?
        WHo gets to choose? With all the problems inthis country this is what HArry Reid has to worry about? Deflection and division is what keeps these crooks in power…

        • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

          I can see those words being offensive to Native Americans if used in that context, but the politicians and the U.S. Patent office aren’t on a mission to cancel the patents on teams that use those words, at least not yet.

          I’ve stated that the word Redskins could mean something else other than referencing Native Americans, as over the years I think the word has come to transcend more than just an “Indian” reference to fans of the team. And the Redskins don’t use the word as a slur intended to be disrespectful to anyone.

          My stance is the only reason the name should be changed is because it’s become a huge distraction, and the fight takes away too much attention from the football team itself. I’ve even suggested that if the team keeps the name they should remove the “Indian” references like the use of feathers, spears, and the face of a Native American on it’s logo.

          Either way, this fight is far from over.

          • bearisity

            The logo is really cool. Just like the blackhawks. Still offended someones said browns…….HOW DARE THEY!!

          • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

            Yes the Redskins logo is cool, but I’m starting to feel that it’s wrong to use Native Americans as a team mascot. Even if the Redskins don’t use the word as a slur, using a Native American face as a logo doesn’t seem quite right. And thanks for adding to discussion.

          • bearisity

            I can’t help but feel like a lot of people government among others are using this whole debacle as a platform for their own personal reasons. Even as little as getting face time.

          • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

            I agree. Politicians don’t need much of an excuse to pontificate about something. But anything that centers around racism always gives some politicians an avenue to appear as though they are fighting standing up for people’s rights.

  • Scott.

    Cowboy fan here who will be buying REDSKIN hat in the morning. Wake up America this country is so screwed.

    • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

      A Cowboy fan wearing a Redskins hat, I guess we can agree on something. Nice take.

      • Scott.

        Hold up Maurice!!, didn’t say I was gonna wear it….lol just buying it in support of Snyder and the Redskin name… It will be tucked deep behind the many boys hat I own……. Lol

        • http://fanonfiresportswire.com/ Maurice Barksdale

          OK Scott. I thought I something was wrong there…LOL. But this issue is unique indeed when Cowboys and Redskins fans can agree on something.