Costello Law Corporation
We Can Help You, Call Us Today
916-520-3360
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Could trademark ruling spell end of "Redskins" as team nickname?

A few months back, we wrote on our Sacramento intellectual property blog about the Washington Redskins football team and its efforts to preserve the club's name as a trademark. We mentioned that a few years ago, a computer software firm was turned down by the patent and trademark office to use "Redskins" as a trademark for its name. Now, another case has come before the government requesting to trademark "Redskins" -- and, once again, the answer was no.

This time, a company wanted to trademark "Redskins Hog Rinds" as a name for its snack food. However, the patent and trademark office refused the request on the basis that "Redskins" is a slang term and is derogatory.

This could have a major impact on the football team's crusade to keep its trademark, which goes back decades. The trademark office said that the term, according to its definitions, is offensive and even taboo in some circles.

It is certainly possible that the same rationale could be applied to the NFL team's name. If this were to happen, the team has a few options. It could keep calling itself the Redskins, but without any kind of trademark protection; this could open the door to anyone who wanted to sell merchandise with the Redskins name.

Another option -- which the team's owner has said he would never consider -- would be to trademark a new name and use it going forward. Some have suggested that the team do this proactively and not wait for the trademark to be revoked, but it seems as though the team will use it as long as it can.

Source: The Washington Post, "Agency rejects trademark of ‘Redskins Hog Rinds,’ calling term ‘derogatory’," Theresa Vargas, Jan. 6, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Contact Us Today

To protect your valuable idea, contact our lawyers at Costello Law Corporation to set up an initial consultation. We are ready to assist you in any intellectual property issue.

Get Started

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

Map & Directions

Costello Law Corporation

Costello Law Corporation
2267 Lava Ridge Court
Suite 210
Roseville, CA 95661

Phone: 916-520-3360
Fax: 916-441-4254
Map & Directions

Email Us linkedin