By now, you’ve no doubt heard the news that yesterday (June 18, 2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), an administrative body of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) cancelled the Washington NFL team’s registered trademarks for “Redskins.” The decision will not take effect until the team owner, Dan Snyder, has exhausted his appeal rights. But what does this mean from a practical perspective for the team, for Mr. Snyder and for people who want to use the name to make their own t-shirts?
Q. Does this mean the team has to stop calling itself the “Redskins”?
A. NO. The USPTO and the TTAB cannot use a cancellation decision to make a trademark owner stop using its trademark.
Assuming the ruling is upheld on appeal, the decision only rescinds the team’s rights to certain benefits that come with federal trademark registration, such as enlisting U.S. Customs and Border Patrol Service to stop importation of infringing or counterfeit merchandise, the right to use the federal registration ® symbol and certain presumptions which provide additional protection of a trademark in court. The team can keep calling itself the “Redskins” and using the trademark on all the things it usually does (merchandise, jerseys, etc.).
Please see full article below for more information.
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