The Washington Redskins issued a statement following the U.S. Patent and Trademarks Office’s decision to strip the team of trademarks related to the use of the word “Redskins.”
The team said they will appeal the decision and are confident it will be overturned, referencing the U.S. Patent Office’s previous decision to deny the trademarks and the subsequent appeal board’s decision to overturn the decision, as well as the dissenting opinion in the most recent ruling.
The Redskins also noted that the ruling only concerns the team’s federal trademark registrations and that they will still be able to protect their marks without the registrations. This was one of the key points made by two trademark attorneys about the case.
The important message here is that the team has no plans to give up the fight and change the name.
Here is the full statement from Bob Raskopf, the team’s trademark attorney:
“We’ve seen this story before. And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.
‘Redskins Are Denied Trademarks’
-Washington Post, April 3, 1999
‘Redskins Can Keep Trademark, Judge Rules’
-Washington Post, October 2, 2003
We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins’ trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.
As today’s dissenting opinion correctly states, “the same evidence previously found insufficient to support cancellation” here “remains insufficient” and does not support cancellation.
This ruling — which of course we will appeal — simply addresses the team’s federal trademark registrations, and the team will continue to own and be able to protect its marks without the registrations. The registrations will remain effective while the case is on appeal.
When the case first arose more than 20 years ago, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled on appeal in favour of the Washington Redskins and their trademark registrations.
As the district court’s ruling made clear in 2003, the evidence ‘is insufficient to conclude that during the relevant time periods the trademark at issue disparaged Native Americans…’ The court continued, ‘The Court concludes that the [Board’s] finding that the marks at issue ‘may disparage’ Native Americans is unsupported by substantial evidence, is logically flawed, and fails to apply the correct legal standard to its own findings of fact.’ Those aren’t my words. That was the court’s conclusion. We are confident that when a district court review’s today’s split decision, it will reach a similar conclusion.
In today’s ruling, the Board’s Marc Bergsman agreed, concluding in his dissenting opinion:
It is astounding that the petitioners did not submit any evidence regarding the Native American population during the relevant time frame, nor did they introduce any evidence or argument as to what comprises a substantial composite of that population thereby leaving it to the majority to make petitioner’s case have some semblance of meaning.
The evidence in the current claim is virtually identical to the evidence a federal judge decided was insufficient more than ten years ago. We expect the same ultimate outcome here.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.