Friday, June 27, 2014

Cleveland editors weigh in on Redskins, Chief Wahoo. Unintended consequences: increased use of "Redskins"?

The post mentioned text from Judge Bergsman's dissent in the Redskins case:

The one dissenter in the decision, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board member Marc Bergsman, said that his dissent should not be construed to mean that he didn't personally find the name disparaging, but only that he found the board did not have evidence before it sufficient to do so, including with regard to whether the NCAI spoke for one in every three Native Americans at the times when the Redskins name and six logos were registered -- specifically in 1967, 1974, 1978 and 1990.

This "one in three" evidence was a factor in distinguishing this Redskins case from the earlier Redskins case, ultimately won by the football team on appeal.

As many are noting, this case is only about federal trademark rights. The team could still USE the mark even without federal rights. Ironically, if the team lost this trademark case, it would be EASIER for others to use the same mark, thus expanding the use of the "disparaging" text, not reducing the use.


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