Redskins

News & Analysis as of

Despite Cancellation, the Washington Redskins' Trademark is Not up for Grabs

As of Wednesday, July 08, 2015, the Washington Redskins have lost a long-fought batter to maintain its federal trademark registrations covering “REDSKINS.” Back in June of 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office...more

Redskins Trademark Decision

On July 8, 2015, a Virginia District Court ordered the cancellation of six NFL Redskins trademark registrations, under a Lanham Act prohibition against registering marks that “may disparage” a referenced class at the time of...more

Intellectual Property Alert: Federal District Court Affirms Cancellation of “REDSKINS” Marks on Summary Judgment and Holds that...

On July 8, 2015, the Federal District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s cancellation of the REDSKINS federal trademark registrations owned by Pro-Football, Inc....more

Redskins Trademarks – Answers to Key Questions Regarding Recent Ruling

Last week, the U.S. District Court sitting in Alexandria, Virginia granted what would appear to be a sweeping victory to a group of five Native Americans who have renewed attempts to cancel the federal registrations of...more

Washington’s NFL Team and U.S. Customs

Last week the NFL franchise that plays football near — but not in — our Nation’s Capital, was dealt another significant legal and public relations blow that would have any rational brand owner working overtime on its...more

What’s in a Name? District Court’s Trademark Cancellation Order Casts Further Doubt on “Redskins” Moniker

Taking big hits is quite familiar to professional football teams.  The hit laid down by a federal District Court on July 8, 2015, however, is one that Washington’s professional football franchise will remember for a long...more

Alert: Federal Court Upholds Cancellation of REDSKINS Trademark Registration

On July 8, 2015, a federal district court in Virginia upheld a ruling canceling six federal trademark registrations incorporating the term REDSKINS owned by the Washington, D.C. football team. The court agreed with the...more

IP Newsletter - July 2015

In This Issue: - En Banc Federal Circuit Abandons “Strong” Presumption That a Limitation Is Not Subject to 35 U.S.C. § 112, Paragraph 6 - Supreme Court Rejects Belief of Invalidity Defense for Inducement in Commil...more

Federal Circuit Vacates Panel Decision on Disparaging Trademark and Orders En Banc Hearing - In re Tam

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a sua sponte order vacating its April 20, 2015, decision in In re Tam to consider the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, which provides that the U. S....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

Constitutional Law vs. Trademark Law: Which Law Wins in the Battle of "Disparaging Trademarks"

The topic of “disparaging trademarks” has been a fairly common topic in the trademark industry, especially when you consider how little this issue comes up in the prosecution and litigation of trademarks. ...more

Intellectual Property 2014 Year in Review

The year 2014 saw some important developments in the area of intellectual property law. A number of intellectual property-related issues even made national headlines. Who can forget the public debate over the rightful...more

For the Redskins, NFL Playoff Season Means. . . Constitutionality Questions?

The NFL playoffs aren’t the only big football news happening this month! The U.S. Department of Justice recently decided to intervene in the Washington Redskins trademark litigation over the constitutionality of certain...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

Trademarks as a Barometer of Change: A Pop Quiz

Designed to appeal and speak to the customers of a specific time and place, trademarks can become hallmarks of a bygone era. The controversy surrounding the use of the REDSKINS trademark and logo shows just how much...more

Trademark Misperceptions Revealed By Reaction to Redskins Decision

I can’t define disparagement, but I know it when I see it… On Wednesday, June 18, 2014 the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the judicial body that provides review to all Federal trademark filings and disputes relating...more

Don’t Be Confused: The Washington Football Team Still Owns Rights in the REDSKINS Trademark

The Washington Redskins football team (“Washington”) recently appealed the cancellation of its federal registrations for its REDSKINS trademarks to the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. When the...more

Another Way the NFL Can Protect the Shield

It’s no secret that the NFL is facing a reputation crisis, on a variety of fronts. With 2013 being called “a very bad year” for the NFL, words will be difficult to describe how badly 2014 ends (reputationally), if the league...more

Washington Redskins Challenge the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act

The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term...more

TTAB’s Washington Redskins Decision: the Enforceability and Commercial Impact of Cancelled Trademarks

The cancellation of a U.S. trademark registration on any grounds, including disparagement, does not always mean the end of enforceable rights in the mark. However, cancellation may create both legal and financial...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

PTO’s Decision to Cancel Football Team’s “Redskins” Marks May Provide Only a Symbolic Victory

On June 18, 2014, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (PTO) administrative board held for the second time that six federal trademark registrations owned by the Washington Redskins franchise must be canceled on the grounds...more

Advertising Law - July 2014

Online Reviews Not Sufficient To Support Ad Claim, NAD Rules - While recognizing the benefits of using new sources of information, the National Advertising Division (NAD) decided that an advertiser’s use of aggregated...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

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