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 Entertainment

Jamie Foxx to portray Mike Tyson in biopic

Fresh
Actor Jamie Foxx poses for a portrait at the Crosby Street Hotel, in promotion of his upcoming role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," on Sunday, April 27, 2014 in New York.

Jamie Foxx is set to portray boxing legend Mike Tyson in a movie after five years of preparation for the role.

in Entertainment

Kiefer Sutherland confused by Freddie Prinze, Jr. blast

Fresh
Prinze Jr Sutherland

Kiefer Sutherland has been left baffled by former 24 co-star Freddie Prinze, Jr.'s public attack on the star's professionalism.

in Sports

Star sprinter Torrin Lawrence dies at 25

FILE - In this June 20, 2013 file photo, Torrin Lawrence reacts after his heat in the senior men's 400-meter dash at the U.S. Championships athletics meet in Des Moines, Iowa. Former University of Georgia 400-meter runner Torrin Lawrence died in a car accident early Monday, July 28, 2014 in Cordele, Ga. He was 25.

Celebrated track star Torrin Lawrence has been killed in a tragic road accident in Georgia.

in Sports

AP: Settlement reached in concussion lawsuit

Fresh
NCAA logo

The Associated Press has learned that the organization will create a $70 million fund to diagnose thousands of current and former college athletes to determine if they suffered brain trauma playing football and other contact sports.

in Sports

Lakers finally confirm Byron Scott is new coach

Fresh
Cleveland Cavaliers head coach Byron Scott during an NBA basketball game against the Miami Heat Monday, April 15, 2013, in Cleveland.

Scott is the former head coach for New Jersey, New Orleans and Cleveland, reaching two NBA Finals with the Nets. He was the NBA's coach of the year in 2008.