Federal court upholds cancellation of REDSKINS marks

In Pro-Football Inc v Blackhorse (No 1:14-cv-01043-GBL-IDD), the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia has upheld a decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board cancelling six federal trademark registrations for REDSKINS, owned by the Washington Redskins football team, on the ground that the marks “may disparage” Native Americans within the meaning of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. However, although the team has lost the legal protection arising from federal registration, it can continue using the marks in commerce.

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Issue 72