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Patent Office Invalidates Washington Redskins Trademark

Darrell M. West

The Obama Administration continued its focus on executive action by intervening in the public controversy over the “Washington Redskins” team name. The football franchise had trademarked the name years ago and gotten support from the U.S. Patent and Trade Office for that action. But in a dramatic move, the USPTO now has invalidated six trademark registrations for the team on grounds that it is “disparaging to Native Americans.”

This is sure to fuel growing public opposition to use of the Redskins name by the professional football team. More and more community organizations and advocacy groups have expressed their opposition to this nickname. The USPTO action will increase pressure on the team to make a change in the same way that several universities already have done.

Read the full USPTO decision here.

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