Jun 18

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Washington Redskins Trademark in Flux

The Washington Redskins’ trademark registration has been cancelled by the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”) after petition by members of the Navajo Nation, Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah, Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma and Muscogee Nation of Florida.  The PTO found that the Redskins’ six registrations were obtained contrary to Section 2(a), 15 U.S.C 1052(a), which prohibits registration of marks that may disparage persons or bring them into contempt or disrepute.

Notably, this decision affects the right of registration, but not of use.  The team may use the brand, but will have more difficulty protecting against counterfeiters under the decision.  However, the cancellation has been appealed by the team and the trademarks will continue to enjoy protection until that is resolved.  A prior similar ruling was previously overturned on appeal.

About the author

Renee Howdeshell

Renee Howdeshell is a founding member of Fulcrum Inquiry, an accounting, finance and economic consulting firm that performs damage analyses for commercial litigation, forensic accountings, royalty & distribution audits, financial investigations, and business valuations. Ms. Howdeshell holds a degree in Finance and Marketing from the University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). She has testified as an expert witness in federal court, CA state court and arbitration regarding the results of her work. She can be reached at (213) 787-4112 and her resume is available at www.fulcrum.com.

Permanent link to this article: http://betweenthenumbers.net/2014/06/washington-redskins-trademark-in-flux/

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