Accuracy in Media

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office joined in the nickname controversy around the National Football League Washington Redskins franchise, ruling by a 2-1 vote that the six trademarks for the team have been canceled, to a point.

redskins helmetsReuters reported that the Redskins franchise will appeal the decision, where they had won a previous ruling in 1999.

The Patent Office said that at least 30% of Native Americans found the nickname disparaging between 1967 to 1990, which the media failed to point out in their reports. Part of their ruling statement said:

“Petitioners have shown by a preponderance of the evidence that a substantial composite of Native Americans found the term REDSKINS to be disparaging in connection with respondent’s services during the relevant time frame.”

The trademark attorney for the Redskins, Bob Raskopf, said that the Redskins franchise will appeal the ruling in federal court. They won the 1999 case in the same matter, where the court said that the petitioners waited too long to assert their rights in 1967 when the Redskins were issued their trademark.

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