The Washington Redskins are no strangers to the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. For the second time in nearly two decades, the Redskins will seek to appeal the latest cancelation of their trademark. The appeal can take years to be awarded and meanwhile the Redskins will have limited federal trademark protection to stop other businesses from cashing in on the Redskins’ trademark.
DeConcini McDonald Yetwin and Lacy P.C. attorney Peter Goldman was recently interviewed by local NBC affiliate, KVOAch4 to explain what real impact this has on Redskins fans, the Team, and the NFL. Goldman is one of few Intellectual Property Law Attorneys in southern Arizona and is a Registered Patent Attorney. While he is not the legal counsel for the Redskins, he is familiar with this issue, and many other cases similar to this.
In recent years the Internet has become a breeding ground for theories of White House conspiracy or political motivation for the cancellation, but Goldman squashes rumors. Goldman explained that the Redskins have been dealing with the same dispute over the team name being disparaging to Native Americans since at least as early as the 1960s.
Goldman continues by stating that the team’s owner, Dan Snyder, has reportedly vowed to appeal the cancellation as he has done before in 1999. The cancellation of the trademark does not mean the Redskins have to change their name. More likely they will not take that step unless Snyder or the NFL is economically impacted. “The team is one of the NFL’s more successful money makers. When receipts dip, maybe he’ll budge.” Goldman continues to say, “If public opinion turns against the team, its sponsors, and against the NFL, and that may be happening, the name will be changed. It won’t happen overnight but the negative publicity will not be good for the NFL or its sponsors.”
When dealing with Trademarks or Intellectual Property Goldman advises businesses to seek legal counsel early on in the developmental stages. Businesses’ long-term goals need to be considered in the context of the realities of the marketplace; an experienced attorney should be part of the development team.
Attorney Peter Goldman often guest speaks on topics such as Trademarks and Intellectual Property Law. Please contact him or the DMYL office for more information.