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Redskins Defend Right To Trademark By Listing Other Offensive Trademarks
As you may know, the Washington Redskins are currently in the midst of a major legal battle against the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
The Patent and Trademark Office, or PTO, had voided the team’s trademarks in June 2014 on the grounds that the team name is disparaging to Native Americans. Then, in July 2015, a federal judge upheld the PTO’s decision and ordered the cancellation of the trademark. However, the Redskins are appealing that decision. And on Friday they filed their opening brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, making a pretty provocative argument—namely, that there are a lot of trademarks that are way more offensive than “Redskins.”
The team’s lawyers even provided some colorful examples:
The PTO has registered hundreds if not thousands of marks that the Team believes are racist, or misogynistic, vulgar, or otherwise offensive. By way of example only, the following marks are registered today: TAKE YO PANTIES OFF clothing; DANGEROUS NEGRO shirts; SLUTSSEEKER dating services; DAGO SWAGG clothing; DUMB BLONDE beer; TWATTY GIRL cartoons; BAKED BY A NEGRO bakery goods; BIG TITTY BLEND coffee; RETARDIPEDIA website; MIDGET-MAN condoms and inflatable sex dolls; and JIZZ underwear. These are not isolated instances. The government routinely registers pornographers’ marks: TEENSDOPORN.COM, MILFSDOPORN.COM, THUG PORN, GHETTO BOOTY, and BOUND GANGBANGS are but a few.
Frankly, while I personally do find the term “Redskins” offensive, their lawyers have a good point here. The PTO said they can’t trademark something offensive, but then they issued trademarks for Midget-Man condoms and something called Retardipedia.com. Until the PTO revokes all those other trademarks, it seems unfair to single out the Redskins.
Hat Tip – [Washington Post]