If and when the Washington Redskins trademark dispute gets to the U.S. Supreme Court, it is not certain the justices would uphold last week’s ruling canceling the team’s marks as disparaging to Native Americans.
A divided panel of three administrative law judges from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on June 18 canceled six of the National Football League team’s trademarks. The majority concluded that the trademark registrations “must be canceled” because a substantial number of Native Americans saw the term “redskin” as offensive as long ago as 1967, when the first of the trademarks was issued.
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