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The Washington Redskins Come Back Fighting

Posted on Aug 27, 2014 in Blog

On June 25, 2014, we blogged that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six trademark registrations owned by the Washington Redskins, ruling that the term “Redskins” was disparaging. On August 14, 2014, the owner of the Washington Redskins came back fighting with a new federal lawsuit (Pro-Football, Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-01043, E.D. Va.) asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to overturn the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s cancellations, asserting that the Redskin marks do not disparage Native Americans. The complaint also seeks to overturn part of the Lanham Act, the primary federal trademark and unfair business statute in the U.S. The complaint primarily asserts that the name “Redskins,” when used in association with professional football, does not disparage Native Americans and denotes only the team with its 80 year history. The defendant in the case, Amanda Blackhorse, released a statement that the Redskin’s effort is doomed to fail and that the evidence the Redskins relies on has already been rejected time after time by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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