This morning, the U.S. Patent Office canceled 6 Redskins football team trademarks after its Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled the those in question were “disparaging to Native Americans.”
“We are extraordinarily gratified to have prevailed in this case,” said Alfred Putnam, Jr., chairman of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, which represented the five men and women who initiated the suit brought to the Patent Office.
The board canceled the trademarks in 1999, but four years later, a federal judge overturned the ruling body’s decision. The Redskins have two months to appeal the decision.
In a statement by the team’s trademark attorney, Bob Raskoph said, “We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.”
The naming of the football team has been an ongoing debate in Washington and beyond. In May, 50 U.S. Senators signed a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in support of a name change for DC’s NFL team, something the team’s owner Dan Snyder says he will never do.