The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board today cancelled six federal trademark registrations owned by the NFL team Washington Redskins, saying that “a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term Redskins to be disparaging.”
The board, part of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, ruled 2-1 against the team, which has been under unprecedented pressure from critics and lawmakers to change its name. In May, 50 U.S. senators signed a letter urging the NFL to change the team’s name, but to no avail.
The team, which says it is going to appeal the decision, can retain the use of the name and its federal trademark rights during the appeal process.
“We’ve seen this story before,” Bob Raskopf, a trademark lawyer for the team, said in a statement. “We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal.”
Watch the AD against the Redskins Name:
Jonathan Topaz, Breaking News Reporter at Politico
Gabriel Feldman, the director of the sports law program at Tulane University