By Bianca Bell
November 4 -- The legal field continues to look grim for the Washington Redskins who are desperately trying to redeem the canceled “Redskins” trademark. Ever since the cancellation of the mark in July 2014, the team has sought to exhaust all federal means of appeal.
The latest and one of the more questionable strategies for the team has been to highlight other offensive and seemingly disparaging marks, like
“Slutsseeker” dating service, “Gringo Style” salsa, “Dangerous Negro” shirts and “Take Yo Panties Off” clothing. The Redskins legal team is arguing that since the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office currently protects these names then the infamous controversial name should also receive protection. The team’s counsel went on to list almost every single offensively named product that has a registered trademark.
Regardless of where you align in this heated battle, this most recent legal defense is more skillful than it appears because it forces the USPTO to explain why ownership of the “Redskins” mark is unacceptable in the midst of a whole range of offensive names that are accepted. Given the multitude of trademarks that are registered, and the unique occurrence of having one canceled for being disparaging, this draws in important free -speech principles. Needless to say, the battle between the USPTO and the Washington Redskins continues to be intense and with no side looking to back down.