The Washington Redskins are no stranger to trademark denial. According to NFL.com’s Ian Rappaport the Redskins had their trademark request denied in 1999.
The Redskins didn’t idly sit by and instead fought the denial. Four months later they won their appeal and the rights to the Redskins trademark. The Redskins will most assuredly fight this cancellation as well. The team names originally was the Boston Braves but was changed in 1933 by then co-owner George Preston Marshall for fear of confusion with the Boston Braves baseball team.
The team relocated to Washington, D.C. four years later and the name obviously went with them. It has been a controversial issue for some time but over the last year has really taken on criticism. Earlier today the United States Patent Office cancelled the teams trademark rights for the name.
Dan Snyder, the teams owner has yet to make a public statement regarding today’s cancellation. He has sworn that he will not change the teams name. Some wonder if the logo also is an issue but it seems for now that the only issue is the name “Redskins”. In the ruling today, the United States Patent Office called the term “Redskins” disparaging to native Americans.