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NFL Team Can Keep 'Redskins' Trademark
Yahoo! News (AP) ^ | 10/1/2003 | Sam Hananel

Posted on 10/01/2003 10:16:03 AM PDT by Pyro7480

NFL Team Can Keep 'Redskins' Trademark

By SAM HANANEL, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A federal judge has overturned a ruling revoking the Washington Redskins trademark, finding there was insufficient evidence to conclude that the name is disparaging to American Indians.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly issued the ruling in connection with a 1999 decision by a panel of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. But she also made clear that her ruling does not address the issue of whether the name "Redskins" actually is offensive to Indians.

Redskins spokesman Karl Swanson said the team hadn't reviewed the entire ruling but "from what we've been told by our attorneys, we are pleased."

If the team lost, it could have been stripped of the exclusive rights to market the Redskins name.

The lawsuit began in 1992 when seven American Indians, led by Suzan Shown Harjo, asked the trademark office to cancel six trademarks containing the word "Redskin." In 1999, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted a petition to cancel the team's trademark registrations because of a federal law, the Lanham Act, prohibiting registering "disparaging" names.

In her 84-page decision, issued late Tuesday, Kollar-Kotelly also found that the plaintiffs waited too long to make their claims under the law, which was in effect when the Redskins trademarks were registered in 1967.


TOPICS: Breaking News; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: District of Columbia; US: Maryland; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: courts; lanhamact; nfl; racism; redskins; trademark
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A little sanity returns to the courts!
1 posted on 10/01/2003 10:16:04 AM PDT by Pyro7480
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To: Pyro7480
Interesting. I still believe it is a disparaging mascot, but the courts have spoken. back to work....
2 posted on 10/01/2003 10:18:46 AM PDT by Lunatic Fringe (I'm normally not a praying man, but if you're up there, please save me Superman.)
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To: Pyro7480
Weren't they the Duluth Eskimos at one time?
3 posted on 10/01/2003 10:19:32 AM PDT by akorahil
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To: Pyro7480
I understand the argument, but it's not meant to demoralize people. It's actually meant to praise them.
4 posted on 10/01/2003 10:19:54 AM PDT by rs79bm
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To: Lunatic Fringe
I believe Redskins were the ones that helped name them "Redskins" in the first place!
5 posted on 10/01/2003 10:20:08 AM PDT by ConservativeMan55 (If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all!!!)
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To: ConservativeMan55
Somebody send this to Rush!
6 posted on 10/01/2003 10:20:42 AM PDT by ConservativeMan55 (If it weren't for double standards, liberals would have no standards at all!!!)
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To: Pyro7480
At least they don't call themselves the "Washington Savages," or the "Washington Firewater Drinkers."
7 posted on 10/01/2003 10:21:04 AM PDT by My2Cents (Well...there you go again.)
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To: Pyro7480
yay! thank God for that too, otherwse the Fighting Irish would be sued by Irish people, and the Falcons would be sued by birdwatchers!
8 posted on 10/01/2003 10:21:29 AM PDT by MacDorcha
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To: Pyro7480
Actually, I have always believed that the name was disparaging as well as the Canucks.
When the Redskins were formed in Boston, there were similar sentiments conveyed when they chose that as their name.
9 posted on 10/01/2003 10:21:58 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS
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To: Pyro7480

Washington Redksins BUMP!!

10 posted on 10/01/2003 10:22:22 AM PDT by jgrubbs
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To: Pyro7480
This has much more to do with economic and political clout than it does with justice. "Redskin" is racist in any context.
11 posted on 10/01/2003 10:23:09 AM PDT by Kleon (To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.)
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To: Pyro7480
Well, while I personally find the term "redskin" as offensive as if someone called blacks "BlackSkins", or asians "YellowSkins", I never could see the point of making a federal case out of it...
12 posted on 10/01/2003 10:23:59 AM PDT by Chad Fairbanks (<Tag>Something unspeakably clever</Tag>)
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To: Kleon
so is "cracker" and "nigger" but many minorities excercise those words with impunity.
13 posted on 10/01/2003 10:24:34 AM PDT by MacDorcha
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To: MacDorcha
And if they created a professional team named after one of those slurs, I would expect the court to thry and block them.
14 posted on 10/01/2003 10:26:57 AM PDT by Kleon (To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.)
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To: Pyro7480
Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly
found the litigant's case to be smelly
so Washington wins
sing "Hail to the Redskins"
And go put some beer in your belly
15 posted on 10/01/2003 10:27:52 AM PDT by ko_kyi
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To: jgrubbs
Spurrier sucks. :)P
16 posted on 10/01/2003 10:27:58 AM PDT by TheBigB ("Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats." --P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: Pyro7480
I'd imagine that the court's ruling would've been different if the team in question were named the "Yellowskins" or the "Blackskins."
17 posted on 10/01/2003 10:30:16 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
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To: Pyro7480
It would have been a pity if we lost the Redskins fight song.
"Hail to the Chestnut Shirts" would not have worked.
18 posted on 10/01/2003 10:30:44 AM PDT by Semper Paratus
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To: MacDorcha
A group of Native American and non-Indian students of the University of Northern Colorado came up with the "Fighting Whites" to deliver a simple, sincere, message about ethnic stereotyping. I'm white, and I don't find it offensive.


19 posted on 10/01/2003 10:31:11 AM PDT by jgrubbs
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To: Pyro7480
These are the two most popular jackets worn by Indians on the Flathead Indian Reservation where I am employed.

>
20 posted on 10/01/2003 10:33:47 AM PDT by GunnyHartman
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To: HEY4QDEMS
Actually, I have always believed that the name was disparaging as well as the Canucks.

Searching my Canuck memory as much as I can, I am unable to recall one time I ever heard anyone suggest that the name was disparaging in the least. Now, if we had a team called the Labrador Newfies, that may be a different story, :-)

21 posted on 10/01/2003 10:34:17 AM PDT by mitchbert (Facts are Stubborn Things)
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To: jgrubbs
"A group of Native American and non-Indian students of the University of Northern Colorado came up with the "Fighting Whites" to deliver a simple, sincere, message about ethnic stereotyping."

Yeah, I tried to order a Fighting Whities T-shirt but they ran out!

22 posted on 10/01/2003 10:34:29 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (French: old Europe word meaning surrender)
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To: Mad Dawgg
You can get them now. : ) (I have one.)
23 posted on 10/01/2003 10:35:34 AM PDT by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet (I'm not perfect, but parts of me are excellent.)
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To: My2Cents
"At least they don't call themselves the "Washington Savages," or the "Washington Firewater Drinkers."

...or the Washington Wizards.

24 posted on 10/01/2003 10:36:17 AM PDT by Hatteras (Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps...)
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To: DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet
"You can get them now. : )"

Oh Joy, Oh Joy, it will indeed be a Merry Christmas for me!

25 posted on 10/01/2003 10:36:52 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg (French: old Europe word meaning surrender)
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To: jgrubbs
I find it offensive. Whities, in general, don't fight. They roll over.

Hear comes Jesse Hi-Jackson! Better give the master extortionist millions of dollars so he don't hollah.

26 posted on 10/01/2003 10:37:59 AM PDT by CounterCounterCulture (Rage - 0, The Machine - 1)
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To: Pyro7480
Miami University (OH) used to be the Redskins. But they bend like a wet noodle and changed to the Redhawks. Which, from my general guess is a red hawk. Though I did a quick search and there is hundreds of Indians sites related to the name "Redhawk". THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!!! Jk.
27 posted on 10/01/2003 10:38:15 AM PDT by smith288 ("The key to our success will be your execution." -Scott Adams)
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Comment #28 Removed by Moderator

To: Pyro7480
I guess the Vikings now need not worry about changing their name. I myself would have no problems with a team being named Palefaces.

These lawsuits are absurd. Naming these teams is actually a compliment. Even the Irish have not objected to "Fighting Irish." No one would name a team "The Fighting Pedophiles" or "Raging Rapists."

29 posted on 10/01/2003 10:39:21 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: Pyro7480
All this controversy makes me hungry. Think I'll go get some Oriental food, and after debate the judge's decision with my Negro neighbors.
30 posted on 10/01/2003 10:40:59 AM PDT by quark
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To: Dante3
The ACLU wouldn't have a problem with those.
31 posted on 10/01/2003 10:43:00 AM PDT by CounterCounterCulture (Who wants to be the bug to my windshield?)
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To: Pyro7480
"The lawsuit began in 1992 when seven American Indians, led by Suzan Shown Harjo...."

also known as the Thinskins...

32 posted on 10/01/2003 10:44:03 AM PDT by Hatteras (Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps...)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
Interesting. I still believe it is a disparaging mascot, but the courts have spoken. back to work....

What's disparaging about it? Teams don't take names with the intent to disparage but to emulate, in this case the strength, endurance, and heroism of Indian tribes.

What's wrong with that?

33 posted on 10/01/2003 10:47:09 AM PDT by Carry_Okie (The environment is too complex and too important to be managed by politics.)
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To: Pyro7480
We should just refer to them as Gregg Easterbrook at ESPN.com does...the "Potomac Drainage Basin Indiginous Persons"
34 posted on 10/01/2003 10:47:59 AM PDT by TheBigB ("Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats." --P.J. O'Rourke)
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To: Pyro7480
Heck, I think it's a shame. Think of all the fun we could have had thinking up a more, er, "topical" name. I'm thinking the Fighting Kennedy Scubadivers, maybe...
35 posted on 10/01/2003 10:48:52 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Pyro7480
Somehow a match of The Cowboys vs. The Chesapeak Watershed Region Indigenous Peoples loses some of its luster.
36 posted on 10/01/2003 10:49:20 AM PDT by .cnI redruM (redruM's Advice -- When impersonating an officer, NEVER call for back - up!!)
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To: Pyro7480
A few years ago I saw an obviously Native American man standing in line at the store wearing a Redskins jacket. I think this anti-Indian-nickname thing is more of a Leftist cause than a grass-roots Indian cause.
37 posted on 10/01/2003 10:50:56 AM PDT by Steve_Seattle (uo)
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To: TheBigB
No, Spurrier doesn't suck, he's just getting started. Just be glad he's no longer in the SEC to bedevil your Crimson Tide...
38 posted on 10/01/2003 10:51:21 AM PDT by HenryLeeII
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To: Chad Fairbanks
Well, while I personally find the term "redskin" as offensive as if someone called blacks "BlackSkins"...

But, you see, that would never happen. People know better than to say things like that. For some reason, many people seem oblivious to ethnic slurs when it comes to American Indians. They don't even seem to be aware of what they're saying. I see it all the time on FreeRepublic, and it drives me crazy.

39 posted on 10/01/2003 10:51:51 AM PDT by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet (I'm not perfect, but parts of me are excellent.)
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To: Pyro7480
Being a season ticket holder of the Redskins I wouldn't have renewed next year if they cave to liberal special interests and changed ther name.

A local High School in Montgomery County, MD was forced to change their name from the Poolsville Indians to something different. How is Indian offensive? Only a liberal would know.

The head of the county school board is Jerry Weast. Many people are offended by his first name (Jerry - nickname for Nazi in WWII ) but he refused to change it. The nerve of those liberals!!!

40 posted on 10/01/2003 10:52:03 AM PDT by 69ConvertibleFirebird (Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.)
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To: HEY4QDEMS
The complaints, if any, were minor. The football team was originally named the Braves, after the baseball Boston Braves and because the football team also played at old Braves Field. The owner got p.o.ed a couple of years later and moved the team to Fenway AND changed the nickname to ''Redskins'', generally to spite the baseball team. This historical process was not entirely dissimilar from the origin of the nickname ''Bears'' for the Chicago football team, and has further similarity to the baseball/football NY Giants.

The ''offensiveness'' of the nickname is of entirely recent origin, and is a bunch of manufactured kwapola.

41 posted on 10/01/2003 10:52:11 AM PDT by SAJ
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To: Chad Fairbanks
P.S. To qualify my remarks: I don't think that the group of individuals who came up with the team name "Washington Redskins" intended it to be disparaging. I just can't imagine that.
42 posted on 10/01/2003 10:54:02 AM PDT by DaughterOfAnIwoJimaVet (I'm not perfect, but parts of me are excellent.)
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To: Chad Fairbanks
blacks "BlackSkins", or asians "YellowSkins",

Actually the politically correct term for them is "peoples of color." That's offensive to me. I have color in my skin. I shoul dsue the govt. for every document with that phrase in it.

43 posted on 10/01/2003 10:54:56 AM PDT by 69ConvertibleFirebird (Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level, then beat you with experience.)
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To: Lunatic Fringe
"the courts have spoken"

So let it be written, so let it be done?

Would you go along with ANY ruling the court put out?

44 posted on 10/01/2003 10:56:11 AM PDT by myself6 (Unionize IT?! "I will stop the motor of the world" - John Galt)
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To: Pyro7480
the plaintiffs waited too long to make their claims under the law, which was in effect when the Redskins trademarks were registered in 1967.

Seems remarkable that the trademark was unprotected until '67. They were such losers in the 50's & 60's that there wasn't much of a threat.

I love to see an Eddie Lebarron type QB again though I suppose Flute was about his size.
45 posted on 10/01/2003 10:56:14 AM PDT by G L Tirebiter
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To: Pyro7480
What's so funny about this is that the sanctimonious former governor of Maryland, Parris Glendening, effectively banned all Indian team names from high schools in the state. Yet he never had a single word to say about the Redskins, who play in their games in Maryland.
46 posted on 10/01/2003 10:59:36 AM PDT by jpl
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To: TheBigB
We should just refer to them as Gregg Easterbrook at ESPN.com does...the "Potomac Drainage Basin Indiginous Persons"

For some unknown reason I read Easterbrook's column. One problem with his moniker, which is typical of so many smug, pseudo-intellectual leftists such as he is: the term 'indiginous person' refers to a person who is native to an area. Indians are not native to the D.C. region any more. For the past three hundred years the indiginous people have been white and black, and more recently Asian and Hispanic.

Also, if he won't refer to them as 'Washington' because they actually play in Maryland, then why doesn't he rename Dallas as Irving, Buffalo as Orchard Park, etc., as he has with the Giants and Jets (Jersey/A and Jersey/B, respectively)? But I will accept his re-naming of the Rams as Les Mouflons and the Titans as the Flaming Thumbtacks.

47 posted on 10/01/2003 11:00:35 AM PDT by HenryLeeII
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To: Chad Fairbanks
So I should be upset if somebody calls me a white guy? Not meaning to disparage, but methinks this is far less than a tempest in a teapot! What an insignificant thing to be upset about - LOL!

If someone is black, white, red, yellow or brown (the five anthropologically defined "race" groupings), aren't they black, white, red, yellow or brown? What would they like to be called, if not black, white, red, yellow or brown?

Maybe lifestyle should be the identifying factor, so we can say socialist liberal pondscum, or faggot, or racist, or criminal, or (worse yet) politician, or WHAT????

Perhaps the underlying political correctness, PC being an abomination in its own right, is the real problem. It's the same dufus idiocy which prevents profiling when profiling is so obviously applicable (let's see, should I search the little old 80 y-o white grandmother or the male of mideastern decent between 17 and 40 years of age?).

Hmmmmm!

48 posted on 10/01/2003 11:01:56 AM PDT by mil-vet
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To: jpl
Which brings up the other point: with no official presence inside the beltway (team offices, practice field and playing field are all elswhere) should the 'Skins be allowed to be called the Washington anything?
49 posted on 10/01/2003 11:05:36 AM PDT by discostu (just a tuna sandwich from another catering service)
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To: SAJ
The ''offensiveness'' of the nickname is of entirely recent origin

The publicity surrounding the ''offensiveness'' of the nickname is of entirely recent origin
50 posted on 10/01/2003 11:07:14 AM PDT by HEY4QDEMS
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