Sign up FAST! Login

In Landmark Decision, U.S. Patent Office Cancels Trademark For Redskins Football Team

Stashed in: Football, Intellectual Property, Awesome, That's racist!, America, Football, Racism, John Oliver, @iamjohnoliver

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Can't protect hate speech!

Wow!  John Oliver strikes again!


John Oliver has gotten very good at highlighting issues ripe for change. 

So if the Redskins are no longer trademarked, anyone can profit legally off selling Redskins merchandise?

An unusually political move by the U.S. Patent Office.

Can't the NFL make the racist owner sell like the NBA did?

John Oliver's genius is in demonstrating that some positions are logically, politically and morally indefensible.

Well, he really has situated himself right in the middle of important things that need to change.

As such, he went from mildly amusing to must-watch.

Basically, it's another political weapon, but it does not change much:

If a judge did rule in this way, then it would allow third parties to use the marks however they wish — on memorabilia and in advertising events, for instance. However, there are some important products — such as team jerseys — are also protected by separate NFL trademarks.

The more important issue here is whether all this might force Redskins owner Daniel Snyder — who is famously opposed to changing the team's name — to finally do it. That's also very uncertain, but it could be another step in that decision.

One factor is that losing the trademark registration would make piracy tougher to deal with. But the bigger one is that it'd be an official government ratification of the idea that the "Redskins" name is an ethnic slur. Coming on the heels of mounting public pressure from civil rights groups, politicians, and even President Obama, it could be the event that pushes Redskins owner Dan Snyder over the edge.