Nov 7, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; A Washington Redskins helmet against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Redskins 34-27. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Redskins trademark canceled by US Patent Office

The Washington Redskins name has been the subject of a slew of controversy over the years and it seems that controversy has only grown in recent months as the push to get the team name changed has stepped up its game to a whole new level. Those efforts have been rewarded today as a landmark move has been made by the United States Patent office as they’ve cancelled the Redskins trademark meaning that a name change is likely imminent.

According to Travis Waldron from Think Progress, the Redskins name is no longer being honored by the Patent office who have deemed it a ‘disparaging’ name. What this means is Daniel Snyder will almost certainly have to change the team name, but we can expect him to not go down without a fight.

The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled six federal trademark registrations for the name of the Washington Redskins, ruling that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and thus cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language.

Basically, what the U.S. Patent Office is saying, is that the name Redskins is a derogatory name that can’t be trademarked for use in business. That’s what so many have been crying out for years and it’s just now that something has been done about it. This doesn’t guarantee a name change though, as the US Patent Office doesn’t have that power. But what they essentially did was take the name away from Daniel Snyder and have handed it over to public domain, meaning that anyone anywhere can now use, distribute and own the Redskins logo and team name without penalty.

No matter how long it took, something has indeed been done to stick a fork in the Redskins name, and unless Daniel Snyder has some sort of trick up his sleeve, the team name won’t be one we will be hearing for very much longer.

Tags: Washington Redskins

  • Trinigurl98

    Great news!

  • DisentAgain

    Using a racial slur as a team name and making a culture a mascot is not acceptable. Indefensible ignorance. The name will change – a few decades later than it should have.


    Switch the name to Warriors and no need to change anything else. Keeps all symbols and logos intact for the team.

  • Justin Graziano

    Theoretically, this could happen to any word. Words gain new meanings all the time. If people one day consider the word “Ford” to be offensive, will they too lose their trademark? Really dumb, I don’t even like sports and I’m sticking up for the Redskins, hoping they beat this.