Earlier this summer, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins' trademark registration due to the name and logo being "disparaging." Now, the Redskins are fighting back after filing an appeal of the decision.
The team released a statement on the filing that was shared by CSNWashington.com. In the statement, Bob Raskopf, the trademark attorney for the Redskins, provided his reasoning for the decision:
We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision. ...
... The Washington Redskins look forward to all of the issues in the case being heard in federal court under the federal rules of evidence. The team is optimistic that the court will correctly and carefully evaluate the proofs, listen to the arguments, and confirm the validity of the Washington Redskins’ federal trademark registrations, just as another federal court has already found in a virtually identical case
Washington's appeal was made in the form of a complaint, as George Wallace of WTOP notes:
The #Redskins announce that they have filed an appeal in the Trademark decision in the form of a complaint.— George Wallace (@GWallaceWTOP) August 14, 2014
Bryan Fischer of NFL.com provides his thoughts on the appeal:
Washington statement last month said Redskins trademark decision had no effect at all on the team. They filed appeal w/federal court today— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) August 14, 2014
The Redskins' name has caused some debate for a while. Though some believe the name should be changed because it is offensive and disparaging toward Native Americans, others believe it stands for something different.
Daniel Snyder, the Redskins owner, recently spoke about what the name means to him, per ESPN.com:
It's just historical truths, and I'd like them to understand, as I think most do, that the name really means honor, respect. ... A Redskin is a football player. A Redskin is our fans. The Washington Redskins fan base represents honor, represents respect, represents pride. Hopefully winning. And, and, it, it's a positive.
The decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office didn't change the Redskins name. But what it did do was provide fuel to the fire for those who believe the mascot and name are controversial.
John McMullen of The Sports Network was not shocked by the Redskins' decision:
Little surprise here: @Redskins have filed appeal of trademark decision ordering cancellation of the team's federal trademark registrations.— John McMullen (@JFMcMullen) August 14, 2014
The team's appeal has been filed, but nothing has been released from the Patent and Trademark Office on the decision.
With the debate over the name still a hot topic, this will likely be a decision that sparks more conversations about the name and mascot moving forward. Two sides of the argument still persist, but a decision on a name change has no timetable.
This debate and the decision surrounding it is no doubt far from over on both sides as the Redskins head into the second week of the preseason.
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