Another hurdle in the Washington Redskins’ fight for trademark protection

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Thursday, 25 September 2014

In June, a group of five Native Americans successfully challenged the Washington Redskins’ trademark as disparaging.   Now, the five Native Americans asked a federal judge to dismiss the team’s counter-lawsuit to reverse the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s (USPTO) decision.1 

The Native Americans filed a motion2 in U.S. District Court arguing that the team does not have a legal right to sue the five Native Americans to reverse the USPTO’s ruling.

After the USPTO ruled in favor of the Native Americans, the Washington Redskins organization sued3 the five Native Americans arguing that “Redskins” is not offensive and that the USPTO erred in canceling the six Redskins trademarks.

The Native Americans now argue4 that they are not “parties in interest” who can be sued in a trademark case. They contend that they “stand to gain nothing or lose nothing.” The Redskins organization simply sued the wrong party and should of filed its challenge against the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board itself.

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