A June 18 statement issued by the USPTO read in part:
"The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) Trademark Trial and Appeal Board -- an independent administrative tribunal within the USPTO -- has determined, based on the evidentiary record in the proceeding before it and on applicable law, that the petitioners met their burden to establish that the term 'Redskins' was disparaging of Native Americans, when used in relation to professional football services, at the times the various registrations involved in the cancellation proceeding were issued. Thus, the federal registrations for the 'Redskins' trademarks involved in this proceeding must be canceled."
For now, the ruling will not impact the team since enforcement will be delayed pending appeal. ESPN reports the trademark attorney for the Redskins, Bob Raskopf, is confident the ruling will be overturned on appeal just as a similar ruling was in 1999.
"This puts a big dent in their business model of trying to gain revenue from a disparaging term of slur," she said according to ESPN. "I find it very unlikely that someone is going to overrule the patent office on this. This is a huge decision by a federal agency."
If the ruling is upheld, the Atlanta Braves and the local affiliate Gwinnett Braves could face challenges as well. Fox Sports reports the Braves and the Cleveland Indians have taken steps to protect themselves from political pressure by eliminating direct association with Native Americans and replacing mascots and logos.
Did the Patent Office make the right decision? Do you believe the term "Redskins" is disparaging? Do you think the Braves will be challenged as well?
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