Washington Redskins: Too Offensive for the U.S. Patent Office

Redskins

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration, finding the football team’s name “disparaging” to Native Americans.

The case was filed on behalf of five Native Americans who argued the trademarked team name was offensive. The patent board agreed.

“We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered,” the board said.

And this isn’t the first time the board has tried to ban the Redskin name. In 1992, the board tried to remove the team’s trademark protections, ruling that the trademarks were disparaging, but a federal court overturned it on a technicality.

The latest ruling applies to six trademarks – all containing the word Redskin – associated with the Washington DC National Football League (NFL) team. But the decision only affects the right to register the trademarks – it won’t stop the team from continuing to use the Redskins name. However, it will make it much more difficult for the team to sue somebody for using the name and logos. So basically anyone could go around selling Redskins merchandise.

Despite the latest decision and the many, many calls for the team’s name to be changed, owner Daniel Snyder has refused, saying it honours Native Americans – much like a team named the Newark N*ggers would honour African Americans and the San Francisco Fags would honour the LGBT community. In fact, Daniel Snyder is so in tune with the Native American community that he founded a charity to benefit Native Americans, called the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation (not to be confused with the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever).

But despite Snyder’s insistence that Native Americans are totally fine with the racial slur, there’s been growing pressure to change the team’s name – even by President Obama himself. So basically it’s only a matter of time before they throw in the towel and just rename the team. And because white guilt is infectious, the Cleveland Indians might want to start putting together a brainstorming session to come up with a new team name too. May I suggest the Cleveland Native Americans Forced onto Reservations and into Poverty by the US Government? Go NAFRPUSGs!!!! 

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