Redskins primary logo 1972-1981, 1983-present

Redskins primary logo 1972-1981, 1983-present (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The public appears to be accepting some misinformation on the Washington Redskins trademark, following the recent ruling by the Trademark Office that the name is offense to Native Americans. Currently, no one is able to use the Redskins trademark name, however that could change of the initial decision is upheld following appeal. If U.S. courts uphold the trademark ruling, the Redskins are expected to file and appeal and would most likely also file a lawsuit against any organization that would attempt to use its trademark name.

The Trademark Office’s decision against the Redskins will, most likely not have any effect on other teams that incorporate the word Indian into their logos. The decision against the Redskins interprets use of the word as a racial slur, while use of names such as Chiefs, Indians and Seminoles does not.

Federal trademark protection, deemed necessary to protect the names of many different sports organization, is necessary to prevent other teams or organizations from using the trademark name. The Trademark Office cannot prevent another team from using the trademark name, nor can it prevent the Redskins from suing another entity that attempts to use the trademark. Most likely, a judge will end up deciding the entire issue, almost ensuring a lengthy legal battle.