Native American Issues

News & Analysis as of

Indian Health Service Recovery Efforts Against Commercial Health Plans

Health plans across the country are increasingly receiving demands for payment from the Indian Health Service (“IHS”), tribal health programs (collectively “Indian Organizations”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury for...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

Tribal Immunity at the Supreme Court: Impact on Payday Lenders?

Could a recent Supreme Court decision on tribal sovereignty as it applied to an Indian casino have an impact on payday lenders? The case itself, Michigan v. Bay Mills Indian Community, involved a casino built by the...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

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

Redskins’ trademark decision ushers in more questions - Cancellation of trademark registration may not have impact some believe

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) most likely knew it was going to generate headlines Wednesday when it issued a monumental decision to cancel six registrations of the...more

A Rose By Any Other Name…

It is rare that items from the United States Patent and Trademark Office are “breaking news” or even make general news headlines. But it happened Wednesday (6/18/14) with the announcement that the Trademark Trial and Appeal...more

Redskins trademark case highlights value of linguistic analysis

The Washington Redskins trademark case, with its conclusion that REDSKINS trademark registrations should be cancelled, has sparked heated discussion among football fans, advocates of Native American interests, and foes of...more

The Redskins Decision: What It Means and Does Not Mean

On June 18, 2014, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB or Board) issued its ruling in Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc. (TTAB Cancellation No. 92046185) cancelling the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations...more

USPTO Cancels Washington Redskins' Trademark Registrations

In a landmark case, the Unites States Patent and Trademark Office cancelled six trademark registrations associated with the National Football League team, the Washington Redskins, finding that use of the term "redskin" is...more

Redskins Trademark Cancelled – Q&A With Bean, Kinney & Korman

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...more

What does the Redskins Cancellation Mean for My Business and Trademarks?

The US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board recently cancelled several Washington Redskins trademarks on the grounds that at the time these marks were registered, they were disparaging or offensive. This means the marks should...more

Let’s Set the Record Straight….the Redskins Still Own the REDSKINS Tradmarks

The overwhelming public reaction to the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s June 18 decision canceling six REDSKINS trademark registrations on grounds that the mark disparaged Native Americans has been impressive. However,...more

Trademark Disparagement Kills the R-Word

My father-daughter time was wonderful in London when the news hit about the USPTO ordering cancellation of the six ”Washington Redskins” trademarks as disparaging to Native Americans....more

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Orders Cancellation of "REDSKINS" Trademark Registrations

On June 18, 2014, a divided panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (“TTAB”) ordered cancellation of six of the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations holding that “Redskins” was a...more

TTAB Cancels REDSKINS Trademark Registrations

In a ruling that has quickly spread throughout social media, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (the “Board”) issued an order cancelling six trademark registrations which contain the word REDSKIN (the “Redskins...more

“REDSKINS” US Trademark Registrations are Canceled for Disparaging Native Americans

A three-judge panel of the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), for the second time and in a 2-1 decision, has held that the REDSKINS trademark used in connection with professional football and related services by the...more

Redskins Trademarks Cancelled - Found Disparaging to Native Americans (Again)

On June 18, 2014, in Amanda Blackhorse et al. v. Pro-Football, Inc., Cancellation No. 92046185 (TTAB 6/18/2014), the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board (TTAB) cancelled six trademark registrations issued between 1967 and 1990...more

Advertising Law - May 2014

Here Today, Still Here Tomorrow: FTC Settles With Snapchat - Now you see it … and now it’s still there. Mobile messaging app Snapchat went with a catchier slogan, promising consumers that pictures and videos...more

Bureau Of Indian Affairs Proposes Regulation To Allow Taking Of Land Into Trust For Tribes In Alaska

After decades of interpreting the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971 (ANCSA) to preclude the federal government’s acquisition of land in trust for tribes in Alaska, on May 1, 2014, the Bureau of Indian Affairs...more

HHS Allows Third-Party Premium Payments By Tribes And Non-Profits

We previously reported that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") has discouraged hospitals and other third parties from paying patients' premiums or cost-sharing. HHS stated in its November 4, 2013 FAQ...more

The Hualapai Grand Canyon Disputes Continue

The Hualapai (pronounced wah-lah-pie) Tribe has about 2,300 members, 1,300 of whom live on the Tribe’s northwest Arizona reservation. The enormous reservation borders the Colorado River and includes portions of the West Rim...more

Compact Between Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Gov. Deval Patrick Approved by Default

The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs allowed the 45-day review period to lapse without issuing a decision, thereby approving a compact between the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and Gov. Deval Patrick for a $500 million casino in...more

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