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Washington Redskins lose trademark appeal – SportsUntapped.com
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Added July 21st, 2015 by Ian

Washington Redskins lose trademark appeal
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The NFL’s Washington Redskins are still facing a lot of roadblocks concerning the club’s name. There are many people who believe the moniker is disparaging to Native Americans and the franchise is under a lot of pressure to change it. The team took a hit in court last year when a judge ruled that the team’s patent and trademark will no longer be protected. The court documents said the organization could still use the Redskins name, but some of the former legal protections would be lost. The franchise then sued to have the ruling overturned by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, but it had no luck as the ruling was recently upheld.

The Redskins argued that its free-speech rights were being infringed upon by losing some of its trademark protection. However, the team isn’t getting much support from those in high places as President Barack Obama told the press in 2013 the club should think about changing its name. Obama was quoted as saying, “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team — even if it had a storied history — that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”

The Redskins then lost six trademarks a year later when the U.S. Patent Office followed the judge’s ruling. Without the trademark, it means just about anybody can use the franchise’s logo without having to pay any royalties to the team. Recent reports out of Washington also state that the government could try to block the Redskins’ plans of renovating or replacing Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium unless they change their name.

Reports said Obama’s Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has told Washington D.C.’s mayor that the land beneath the stadium is owned by the National Park Service and it’s doubtful permission will be given to the NFL side to carry out any construction on the site. The Redskins reportedly want to demolish the venue and build a new one. Jewell joined Obama’s administration in 2013 and has agreed with the president that the name Redskins is offensive. However, Jewell might not have any say in the matter since Obama’s last term in office is up in 2017 and the Redskins aren’t planning any stadium moves until 2018.

The ruling by Judge Gerald Bruce Lee is a 70-page document and it more or less said the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board was right to cancel the Redskins’ trademarks. This obviously leaves the club on shaky ground, but team president Bruce Allen is adamant that the Redskins name has nothing to do with racism and doesn’t plan on changing it. The name has been used since the 1930s, but the club could potentially see Redskins merchandise flood the market without them making any money from it. The Redskins organization has repeatedly stated that the team’s name represents bravery and tradition. And so the debate goes on.

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