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Trademark Law Archives

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.

Football coaches moving to trademark their names

For many major college football programs, the face of the team -- and often the university -- is the head football coach. Players come and go after using their eligibility, but coaches can be around for decades: think Bear Bryant at Alabama, Woody Hayes at Ohio State, and -- despite his ultimate fall from grace -- Joe Paterno at Penn State. Many football fans know these coaches intimately, or at least feel that they do.

Observers waiting to see if Redskins' trademarks are canceled

One of the most salient features of a business is its brand. In many cases, that brand is best represented by the business's name and other intellectual property assets. And to protect those assets, many companies will file for trademark protection.

Surprise! That term is trademarked

Here's a piece of intellectual property trivia for Sacramento business owners: When it comes to trademarked terms, you own that trademark for as long as you use it. If you are lax, however, and do not at least attempt to put a stop to use of your trademarked term by other parties, then you may eventually wind up forfeiting control over your trademark.

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Costello Law Corporation
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Roseville, CA 95661

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