August 18, 2014

Washington Redskins Hog Wild Over Name

08 18 14 Blog Redskins1

It doesn't look like the Washington Redskins will be changing their name any time soon. In June, we reported that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board had cancelled six of the Redskins' trademark registrations. Last week, the Redskins filed an appeal of the decision in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Bob Raskopf, counsel for the Redskins' was quoted as saying, "We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision." The appeal states that if the TTAB's ruling is not overturned, it threatens the Redskins' First Amendment rights and also unfairly deprives the Redksins "of its valuable and long-held intellectual property rights in violation of the Fifth Amendment."

The appeal indicates that Dan Snyder will not change the name of his team in the near future. This appeal will likely spark more conversations about whether the team name is actually disparaging. In fact, the Redskins recently issued a 2 minute advertisment defending the name. The ad is called "Redskins is a Powerful Name," and features members of different Native American tribes and communities who say the mascot name "uplifts" and reminds Native Americans of their "cultural background and heritage."