Federal Judge Upholds Cancellation of Redskins’ Trademark Protection

Another blow was struck to the Redskins' battle to keep their name on Wednesday

redskins helmet
Kathy McAfee

The battle over the Washington Redskins’ name goes on.

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee upheld last year’s federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruling that the nickname “Redskins” is offensive to Native Americans and therefore ineligible for federal trademark protection.

This is just another step in what has been and will continue to be a long, drawn-out  process, and even if the team unsuccessfully exhausts all their appeals, they can still seek trademark protection on the state level. But the team fears that the ruling potentially opens the door for copycats across the country to take advantage of their lack of protection.

So not surprisingly, Wednesday’s ruling was met on the team’s side by vows to continue fighting. For Jesse Witten, one of the attorneys representing the Native Americans in the case, Wednesday was a triumph.

This is a huge victory,” Witten said, per the Washington Post. “Getting this ruling from a U.S. District judge is a watershed event.”

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