U.S. Trademark Trial And Appeal Board Cancels Redskins’ Trademarks
By Syma Chowdhry
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Six federal trademarks held by the Washington Redskins were canceled by the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on Wednesday morning.
According to the United State Patent And Trademark Office (USPTO), the cancellations are pending. The U.S. Patent Office ruled that Washington Redskins nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans.”
“We decided, 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 wrote in its statement.
And some people in the local Native American community agree, like Rev. John Norwood of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribal Nation.
“It has a painful history associated with it that is not taught in the schools,” Rev. Norwood told Eyewitness News. “People dress up and mock the Indians, using stereotypes that are always insulting to us. Sometimes, even using articles of regalia that are actually scared to us.”
“If there was a school that had the N-words, and you had African American children having to deal with that, either as students or members of opposing schools’ sports teams, people would be outraged,” Rev. Norwood added.
Meanwhile, football fans at PJ Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill were also weighing in on the issue.
“I just think they are overreacting to be honest with you,” one person said.
“Change it; why not just fix the problem?” another disagreed.
“It’s the Redskins, they have been the Redskins for how long? So just let it go,” another fan said.
Immediate action does not occur, however, and the Redskins will be allowed to continue using the trademark during the appeal process.
The Redskins issued a statement Wednesday, saying:
“We’ve seen this story before and just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of the right to use the Redskins name & logo.”
They say they will appeal the decision.
You can read the full statement from the USPTO here.