Indigenous Peoples Art, Entertainment & Sports Civil Procedure

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Trademark Review | August 2015

The Redskins Lose Again (Off the Field)- A federal District Court affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s (TTAB) ruling that “Redskins” cannot be registered as a trademark for use in connection with a...more

Supreme Court Corner – Q3 2015

In Kimble v. Marvel Entertainment, the Supreme Court upheld a long-standing precedent that restricts the ability of a patent holder to charge a royalty beyond the term of a patent. In a 6-3 decision, the Court declined to...more

REDSKINS affirmed as disparaging. Appealed to 4th Circuit.

In its June 18, 2014 Blackhorse decision, the TTAB ordered six Redskins trademarks to be cancelled as disparaging to Native Americans at the time they were registered....more

Disparaging Trademarks and the Constitutionality of Refusing Registration Under the Lanham Act

Disparaging trademarks have been the subject of vocal debate for over twenty years, but this debate has come to a head recently over the cancellation of the registration of the infamous "Redskins" trademarks belonging to the...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 14: The Intersection Of Federal Labor Law, Tribal Gaming And A Deep Division Within Two Sixth...

Two separate three-judge panels of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit have rendered labor law decisions concerning Indian casinos in Michigan only 22 days apart. While each of the panels ruled that the...more

The Sixth Circuit Extends the NLRA's Reach to Tribal-Owned Casinos

The extent of the National Labor Relations Act's application to tribal-owned and operated enterprises on reservations is an open question in many circuits. Recently, two Sixth Circuit decisions resolved the question in favor...more

En Banc Ninth Circuit Ruling Restores Certainty to Federal Recognition of "Indian Lands"

On June 4, 2015, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its en banc decision in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California, a case in which Big Lagoon Rancheria, a federally recognized Indian tribe, sought to compel the State of...more

Lawyer Who Started Fight Over "R-Word" Mascot Awaits Decision

About a quarter century ago, Steve Baird — at the time, a freshly minted graduate of the University of Iowa law school clerking for a federal judge in Washington, D.C. — was spending most of his free weekends working on an...more

Wisconsin Indian Tribe Prevails – State Cannot Ban Electronic Poker on Reservation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has overturned a federal district court ruling that had permitted the State of Wisconsin to prohibit the Ho Chunk tribe from offering electronic poker on its reservation...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 8, Number 5: North Fork Tribe Sues State For Compact In Latest Chapter Of Gaming Saga

By the summer of 2014, it appeared that the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians of California had finally made it over the last hurdle to begin construction of a Class III casino with 2,000 slot machines and 40 gaming tables...more

Californian court puts tribal online bingo website on ice

A Native American tribe’s attempt to launch an internet bingo website has faced setbacks following a recent court order temporarily restraining the site’s operation. In its decision, the Court made a number of important...more

The US Department of Justice Seeks to Intervene in the Washington Redskins’ Trademark Suit to Defend the Constitutionality of the...

The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government. Last week, the...more

Gaming Legal News: Volume 7, Number 12: Department Of Justice Files Suit Against Santa Ysabel Tribe’s "Desert Rose Bingo" Site

On December 3, United States Department of Justice attorneys filed a complaint in federal court seeking to prevent the Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel, a federally recognized Indian tribe near San Diego, from continuing to...more

Federal Court Limits Tribe’s, Secretary’s Options When States Balk at Gaming Compact

A federal district court in New Mexico has issued a decision finding that the U.S. Department of the Interior’s regulations permitting the Secretary of the Interior to adopt Class III gaming procedures for a tribe lacking a...more

Redskins Appeal TTAB Ruling

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, the Washington Redskins filed a much-anticipated appeal in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia of a June Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decision which resulted in...more

Redskins Ruling is Consistent with TTAB Precedent

In Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc., the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office once again canceled various registrations for trademarks used by the Washington Redskins football team as being disparaging to Native Americans. While...more

Trademark Review (July 2014)

Past Disparagement Results in Present Cancellation: REDSKINS Marks Cancelled by TTAB - The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) cancelled six registrations for marks consisting in whole or in part of the term...more

Supreme Court Affirms in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community: Don’t Roll the Dice with Tribal Sovereign Immunity

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community is a reminder to a broad range of entities, including energy companies, financial service providers, and state and local governments, that...more

Pojoaque’s Plan to Seek an Imposed Contract: Is Interior’s Process Consistent with IGRA?

The Pueblo of Pojoaque needs a new Class III gaming compact by June 2015 in order to continue operating its casinos which are located north of Santa Fe. However, the Pueblo objected to the financial concessions being demanded...more

Could Offensive Trademarks Find Refuge in Common Law?

The 177-page tome the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) just issued in Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc. is remarkable for its length and its subject matter, cancellation of the controversial REDSKINS mark as disparaging...more

A Football Team, by Any Other Name…: USPTO Decision Illustrates that Law is More than Hard & Fast Rules

At Meadowlawn Elementary in the 1960s, my West Michigan friends and I would boast about things that made us "better" than each other. It was the golden age of Superman comics and, while I didn't have super strength or x-ray...more

Gaming Legal News - June 2014 • Volume 7, Number 10

In This Issue: - INDIAN COUNTRY AWAITS 9TH CIRCUIT’S EN BANC REHEARING IN BIG LAGOON CASE: In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that...more

Indian Country Awaits 9th Circuit’s En Banc Rehearing in Big Lagoon Case

In January, a split 9th Circuit panel shocked Indian Country with its holding in Big Lagoon Rancheria v. California that the State’s failure to negotiate in good faith for a tribal-state gaming compact with the Big Lagoon...more

Beyond Disparaging: Five Important Clarifications Regarding Redskins Trademark Decision

Over the past year, debate regarding whether the National Football League’s Washington, D.C. franchise should continue to call itself the Redskins has risen to a fever pitch once again. So, naturally, it was big news when, on...more

The Redskins Decision: Much Ado About (Probably) Not Much

I’ve been having fun listening to commentators – most of whom appear to know little or nothing about trademark law – expound on last week’s decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel six trademark...more

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