NFL team stripped of patents for ‘disparaging’ name
SEATTLE, Wash. – The controversy surrounding a popular football team’s mascot has now extended to the U.S. government.
For several years, Native American groups across the country have been calling for the Washington Redskins to change their mascot.
Recently, a high-profile commercial brought attention to the culture of Native Americans, and the offensive nature of the term.
“If they understood the real, true meaning of the term ‘Redskin,’ they would readily reject this,” said Richard Ray Whittman.
He said, “The term ‘Redskin’ was the bounty, the evidence you had scalped or took the skin of man, woman, child, for a murdered Native American.”
According to the Washington Post, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registration.
The office says the team’s name is “disparaging to Native Americans.”
Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.”
However, the ruling does not mean the Redskins have to change the name of the team.
Instead, it affects how the team can many money from merchandise.
According to the post, the ruling limits the team’s legal options when other companies use the logos and the name on merchandise.
The team will likely file an appeal.