In a bombshell decision this morning, the USPTO cancelled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations. According to Forbes Magazine, the Redskins are the third most valuable franchise in the NFL, behind the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, and were valued at approximately $1.6 billion as of 2013. They have also broken the NFL’s mark for single-season attendance nine years in a row. (source)
The U.S. Patent Office ruled that the Washington Redskins name is “disparaging of Native Americans” and federal trademarks for the name have to be canceled.
The Redskins ruling reflects the rogue administration’s war on our freedoms and private property rights. The role of the government is to protect and defend our individual rights.
Men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules.
This is the task of a government—of a proper government—its basic task, its only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government. –Ayn Rand
Last month, Reuters reported that the USPTO’s ruling denying our SIOA trademark application was “a case that legal experts think has implications for the long-running fight over the name of the Washington Redskins NFL team.” And so it did.
This is a free speech issue, and involves the government’s abuse of power. Selective persecution. What happens now to the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Florida Seminoles, Cleveland Indians, Golden State Warriors, et al – why stop at the Redskins?
The USPTO rejected AFDI’s SIOA trademark application based on the following analysis:
(1) “Islamisation” means converting to Islam or “to make Islamic;” and (2), “Stop” would be understood to mean that “action must be taken to cease, or put an end to, converting or making people in America conform to Islam.” Thus, the trademark, according to the “Office Action” ruling, disparaged Muslims and linked them to terrorism. (AFLC)
And we intend to fight this war on our freedoms. All the way. So those who come after us have the inalienable freedoms enshrined in the Constitution.
Kevin Hartley of Trademarkology wrote last month:
Disparagement Ruling May Impact Washington Redskins’ Trademark
On Tuesday, the Federal Circuit affirmed an earlier ruling by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board that a blogger could not register the trademark “Stop Islamization of America” because it could be disparaging to American Muslims. The ruling was based on a law that allows the United States Patent and Trademark Office to refuse to register a trademark that disparages a “substantial composite” of a group. The Federal Circuit reasoned that the trademark, which suggests an association between “peaceful political Islamization” and terrorism, would offend many Muslims.
This ruling may directly impact the ongoing trademark saga related to the Washington Redskins. Indeed, the USPTO has been reviewing the Redskins’ trademark for almost eight years. Recently, the USPTO refused to register the mark “Washington Redskin Potatoes” because it would be disparaging to Native American Indians. In so ruling, the USPTO stated that “a substantial composite of Native American Indians find the current use of ‘Redskins’ in conjunction with football disparaging.” Whether the USPTO will void the Redskins’ trademark remains to be seen, but Tuesday’s decision by the Federal Circuit may embolden the USPTO to act, especially considering popular opinion seems to be squarely in favor of those opposed to continued use of the name.
The Harjo decision was later reversed, and the fight finally ended on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2009, when the justices refused to hear an appeal.