Skip to comments.U.S. Trademark Office Says ‘Redskins’ is Derogatory
Posted on 01/08/2014 7:01:13 AM PST by Third PersonEdited on 01/08/2014 7:11:13 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]
There will be no trademark for “Redskins Hog Rinds,” a bad omen for the Washington Redskins in the legal battle over their name. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has rejected a request from a company to sell pork rinds using the word “Redskins” because it deemed the term to be “derogatory slang.”
(Excerpt) Read more at washington.cbslocal.com ...
Yeah, oh brother!
No more redskin peanuts? No redskin potatoes?
I have contempt for our government.
Faux scandals, all of them.
I guess they could change the name to RASH HOG RINDS.
Who asked for your worthless opinion?
I foresee the beginning of a cottage industry.
The US Trademark office is the Ministry of Truth I guess.
...they became the 'noles all night long.
How about calling them Mohammedan Hog Rinds?
No one would object to that, right?
Shoot, I’d buy several bags and I don’t even like Mohammedans or Hog Rinds.
On a related note, I have been called a "cracker" more than one in my lifetime. That hurts, it really does.
I therefore request (demand, actually) that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office revoke the trademark of any product containing the word "cracker."
Is there any precedent for this agency to interfere with private business like this?
How about “ThinSkins”? X~o
That’s the least of the skins’ problems...
Is there any precedent for this agency to interfere with private business like this?
No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal register on account of its nature unless it
(a) Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute; or a geographical indication which, when used on or in connection with wines or spirits, identifies a place other than the origin of the goods and is first used on or in connection with wines or spirits by the applicant on or after one year after the date on which the WTO Agreement (as defined in section 2(9) of the Uruguay Round Agreements Act) enters into force with respect to the United States.
Here is the rejection. An attorney can do just fine arguing back, and they can potentially overcome it if they can show that there are many registrations of words that are objectionable to some.
REFUSAL TO REGISTER DISPARAGING MARK
Registration is refused because the applied-for mark REDSKINS HOG RINDS consists of or includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols. Trademark Act Section 2(a), 15 U.S.C. §1052(a); see In re Tam, 108 USPQ2d 1305, 1309 (TTAB 2013); In re Lebanese Arak Corp., 94 USPQ2d 1215, 1217 (TTAB 2010); TMEP §§1203.03, 1203.03(b).
The following two factors are considered when determining whether matter may be disparaging under Trademark Act Section 2(a):
(1) What is the likely meaning of the matter in question, taking into account not only dictionary definitions, but also the relationship of the matter to the other elements in the mark, the nature of the goods and/or services, and the manner in which the mark is used in the marketplace in connection with the goods and/or services
(2) If that meaning is found to refer to identifiable persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, whether that meaning may be disparaging to a substantial composite of the referenced group
In re Tam, 108 USPQ2d at 1309; In re Lebanese Arak Corp., 94 USPQ2d at 1217; In re Heeb Media LLC, 89 USPQ2d 1071, 1074 (TTAB 2008); TMEP §1203.03(b)(i).
REDSKIN is defined as follows:
Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a Native American (see attached evidence from http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/redskin captured 12/29/13);
an old-fashioned informal name, now considered taboo, for a Native American (see attached evidence from http://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/redskin captured 12/29/13);
(slang) offensive term for Native Americans (see attached evidence from https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/Redskin captured 12/29/13);
dated offensive an American Indian (see attached evidence from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/redskin?q=redskin captured 12/29/13);
Slang (often disparaging and offensive) a North American Indian (see attached evidence from http://dictionary.infoplease.com/redskin captured 12/29/13).
As evidence that American Indians find the term REDSKINS offensive, see the attached news article, NCAI Report: Redskins Name Has Ugly and Racist Legacy (Indian Country Today online, October 11, 2013) located at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2013/10/11/ncai-report-redskins-name-has-ugly-and-racist-legacy-151714 (captured 12/29/13). In fact, the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) now uses the designations R*dskins and R Word when referring to REDSKINS sports teams mascots (see, e.g., attachment from http://www.ncai.org/resources/ncai_publications/ending-the-legacy-of-racism-in-sports-the-era-of-harmful-indian-sports-mascots) captured 12/29/13.
As additional evidence that American Indians find the term REDSKINS offensive, see the attached article, Oneida Indian Nation pressures NFLs Redskins to change name (MSNBC, September 9, 2013)) located at http://www.msnbc.com/martin-bashir/oneida-indian-nation-pressures-nfls-redskins (captured 12/29/13). See also the attached article, Native American Activists Want Supreme Court to Hear Redskins Case (Washington Post, September 16, 2009) located at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/09/15/AR2009091500973.html (captured 12/29/13), which states that Native American activists are trying to get the Supreme Court involved in its long-running dispute with the Washington Redskins about whether the teams name is so offensive that it does not deserve trademark protection.
Given that REDSKINS in the mark is a derogatory slang term that refers to, and is considered offensive by, American Indians, registration of the applied-for mark must be refused under Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act.
Although applicants mark has been refused registration, applicant may respond to the refusal by submitting evidence and arguments in support of registration.
Here’s all the precedent for the fact that “Redskins” is registrable (forgive junky formatting):
Serial Number Reg. Number Word Mark Check Status Live/Dead
1 86052159 REDSKINS HOG RINDS TSDR LIVE
2 86092137 WASHINGTON REDSKIN POTATOES TSDR LIVE
3 78642896 3090334 R TSDR LIVE
4 78026545 12TH REDSKIN TSDR LIVE
5 77782601 3792438 ALL NATURAL MY DADZ NUTZ CARMELIZED JUMBO REDSKINS WWW.MYDADZNUTZ.COM CRUNCHY! 10OZ (280G) BIG FRENCHY TSDR LIVE
6 76228476 WASHINGTON REDSKINS CHEERLEADERS TSDR LIVE
7 75771166 REDSKINS BROADCAST NETWORK R TSDR LIVE
8 75266100 2183639 REDSKIN TSDR LIVE
9 74494169 BOSTON REDSKINS TSDR LIVE
10 74300713 WASHINGTON REDSKINS TSDR LIVE
11 73829272 1606810 REDSKINETTES TSDR LIVE
12 73107873 1085092 REDSKINS TSDR LIVE
13 73779576 1576665 SIMPLOT REDSKIN POTATOES TSDR LIVE
14 72435244 0987127 THE REDSKINS TSDR LIVE
15 72435243 0978824 WASHINGTON REDSKINS TSDR LIVE
16 72435127 0986668 WASHINGTON REDSKINS TSDR LIVE
17 72250227 0836122 THE REDSKINS TSDR LIVE
Who made the decision?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office is part of the Department of Commerce, currently headed by Penny Pritzker. The PTO was under Teresa Stanek Rea as Acting Director until Nov. 21, 2013, when she stepped down and was replaced as Acting Director by Margaret A. Focarino.
Was either acting director the one who made the decision or was it made higher up the food chain?
College Hockey broadcasters freak out whenever a player or fan utters the banished Fighting Sioux moniker.
I say that THEY (us traitor office) are ALL bigots!
Its nice that even the US Trademark Office is now able to give random judgements on political correctness....
I think it would be fair to ask the Seminoles what they think about being the mascot of FSU. My understanding, and it is not authoritative, is that the tribe is supportive of the name and their link with FSU.
If that is the case, I would tell the rest of the world to mind their own business.
While on the subject, has anyone ever heard any whining from Eire about the mascot of the Notre Dame? Having Celtic blood way back there, I could care less.
I would have thought they would reject this because the term “Redskins Hogs” is too entwined with the Washington Redskins, who hold the trademark for the Redskins name for all things related to the sports team.
The “Hogs” were of course the name for the offensive line for the Redskins, and I would assume the maker of this product was trying to capitalize on that association.
Interestingly, you don’t need a trademark to sell a product with a name. You just need it to protect your product name.
If the trademark office removes the trademark protection from the Washington Redskins, it just means that everybody can start using the name.
I thought the ‘noles was the normal shorthand for the team, like “devils” for the “blue devils”, and “tide” for “Crimson Tide”, and ‘canes for “miami hurricanes”.
I can’t imagine they are trying not to use the name “Seminoles”. That is not derogatory, it is the official name of a population that is native to the area, and that tribe is apparently happy to have it’s name associated with the team.
The whole game their fans sang what I'd call a war hoop and had the 'tomahawks' out. ...surely making liberals, in their PC world, cringe.
...a war whoop?
I am personally offended by the name of our Presidential residence......
The university, in fact, refuses to call the horse and rider its mascots, choosing instead to call them symbols of the Seminole that represents the school's sports teams.
Neither tribal President Tony Sanchez Jr., nor Chairman James Billie responded to interview requests from The Associated Press. But in an interview last month on CNN, Billie made it clear that neither the Redskins controversy nor any other outside force would alter the position tribal leaders agreed upon decades ago.
"Anybody come here into Florida trying to tell us to change the name, they better go someplace else, because we're not changing the name," Billie said.