News

Redskins to fight trademark ban

Redskins to fight trademark ban

WHAT'S IN A NAME?:On Wednesday, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal canceled six Redskins trademarks because they disparage Native Americans. Photo: Associated Press

By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Washington Redskins expect a legal case involving cancellation of the NFL team’s trademarks to move more quickly than a previous case that took nearly 11 years to conclude in the franchise’s favor, a lawyer for the team said on Thursday.

On Wednesday, a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office tribunal canceled six Redskins trademarks because they disparage Native Americans. The team has said it will appeal the ruling in federal court, and the trademark protection remains until appeals are concluded.

The team’s trademark lawyer, Bob Raskopf, told Reuters the case would likely be resolved more quickly than the previous one involving a 1999 Patent Office tribunal ruling since the appeal would be heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia rather than in a Washington court.

“It’s known for the speedier resolutions. It’s called the ‘rocket docket.’ … They move cases quickly,” Raskopf said.

The previous case took almost 11 years to conclude until the Supreme Court declined to hear it in 2009, with the Redskins retaining their trademark protection.

Citing tradition, team owner Daniel Snyder for 14 years has defied calls to change the club’s name, which dates from the 1930s. The Redskins have come under increasing pressure from Native American groups, politicians and others over the name.

Raskopf said he had talked with Snyder about an appeal and he is “as optimistic as I am.”

The team wanted to win the case, Blackhorse v Pro Football Inc., on the merits so the issue of the name can finally be resolved, he said.

The earlier case was decided on a technical issue, with a District of Columbia court ruling that the petitioners had waited too long to assert their rights as adults after the first Redskins’ trademark was issued in 1967.

Raskopf said he was confident since the arguments in the current case were the same as that in the 1999 case. The three-member tribunal board also had split, adding to his optimism, he said.

Amanda Blackhorse, the named plaintiff in the case, said increasing public opposition to the Redskins’ name would help during the appeals process.

Redskins “is a term that has been created for us by the colonizers. They use that word to oppress us,” Blackhorse, a Navajo psychiatric social worker, told Reuters.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Eric Beech and Will Dunham)

Recent Headlines

in Sports

49ers linebacker Aldon Smith suspended by NFL

Fresh
San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith (99) against the Indianapolis Colts during the first half of an NFL football game in San Francisco, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013.

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith has been suspended for nine games by the NFL

in Local Sports

Mariners’ Montero done for year after altercation

Fresh
Seattle Mariners' Jesus Montero, right, is congratulated by teammate Cole Gillespie after hitting two-run home run that scored Gillespie during second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres in Seattle, Tuesday, June 17, 2014.

Jesus Montero will not play baseball again this season for the Mariners' organization after a heated confrontation in the stands

in Local

Car versus walker crash

BwPcmuECYAAxOMD

Man hit near Bellingham Waterfront.

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

little

A look at the biggest stories and best photography in sports this week.

in Entertainment

WATCH: 10 best ‘Simpsons’ episodes

In this photo released by Fox, Homer explains why he wants to bring back the annual 4th of July fireworks display, after it's cancelled for budget reasons, in the "Yellow Badge of Cowardge" Season Finale episode of "The Simpsons," in May 2014. The full 25-year run of "The Simpsons" will arrive on cable channel FXX with a summer marathon, to be paired this fall with a digital extravaganza that could turn other TV shows yellow with envy. "I'm not going to over-promise, but I think this website will provide you with affordable health care," longtime "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean told a TV critics' meeting Monday, July 21, 2014.

The recent marathon of all 552 episodes of "The Simpsons" inspired us to sit down and come up with our 10 favorite episodes. Enjoy!