Archive for July, 2017

Good News for the Redskins

July 1, 2017

This was a great week for the Washington Redskins. According to an Associated Press article, the U. S. Department of Justice decided to drop the attempt by the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Redskins’ trademarks. In 2014, the government canceled the Redskins’ trademarks, because they considered it disparaging. The team appealed that decision. That appeal had been on hold pending the outcome of another case, Matal v. Tam, which was decided on June 19 by the Supreme Court.

Voting 8-0 (Justice Gorsuch was not seated when the case was heard and took no part in the decision), the Supreme Court decided that the name “Slants” used by an Asian-American rock group was protected speech under the First Amendment ruling the part of the Lanham Act which prevented registration of trademarks that employ disparaging name unconstitutional. Thus the U. S. Patent and Trademarks Office cannot block the registration of a name on the grounds that it is considered disparaging.

This Supreme Court decision essentially voided the cancelation of the Redskins trademark rendering the appeal unnecessary. The Redskins have won and can continue using the name they have had since 1933. What isn’t known is how the eastern media, The Washington Post and Boston Globe in particular, will react. Will they continue their campaign Captain Ahab-like in their war against the Redskins or will they accept the ruling of the Court and polls of Native Americans? Based on the phony claims made by the Boston Globe in the not distant past, it seems unlikely.

http://pro32.ap.org/article/justice-department-gives-washington-redskins-name-fight

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