Earlier today, the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the trademark registration for the name Redskins.
A brief news piece from the Washington Post announcing the decision can be read here.
The official opinion written by Administrative Trademark Judge Karen Kuhlke can be read here.
Many individuals may have never heard of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board which is with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Honestly, if one has never applied for a patent or been involved in trademark dealings it is one of those boards of which most would never know. My rudimentary knowledge began years ago during a graduate history seminar when the professor assigned numerous readings for a section on US agricultural history. When I needed to elaborate on a patent cited in a footnote, my professor guided me into some of the nuances within the US Patent and Trademark Office which introduced me to the Appeal Board.
A brief introduction to the specific Redskin case and the Board can be found in this Washington Post article authored by Catherine Ho in 2013.
The official description of the Board can be found here:
Further information can be found here:
The appeal process can be read here: (There are duplications from the previous links)
For further research or inquiries regarding Trademark law, I recommend using this portal from Boston University and the Pappas Law Library.
Unfortunately some will attempt to turn this decision into a political ideology debate. If attempt is to oversimplify this issue into that broad ever changing conservative/liberal debate or anti Presidential administration argument keep in mind when each of the 3 judges deciding this particular case received their appointments to the Board.
Karen Kuhlke in 2005
Peter W. Cataldo in 2006
Marc A. Bergsman in 2006
The Chief Judge, Gerard F. Rogers, received his appointment in 1999.
I’ve written my opinion concerning the mascot. It’s a personal opinion and yours may differ. As per Native American Indians (term used for clarification purposes only) or those individuals present on this continent when European based explorers, whether the “lost” voyages from the north or the ones from the south which ultimately led to European settlement, and their descendants, I am not qualified academically to construct any “expert” opinions. As an individual, my maternal ancestry is Hungarian, and my paternal is primarily French and German with a small Native American connection from my paternal Grandmother who passed away while I was an infant. I have never traced my ancestry to discover the origins of that connection. Myself, I’m an American reared in the Hungarian Settlement of Livingston Parish, Louisiana. Many of the Hungarian traditions practiced in the area were a part of my upbringing and I’m proud and feel blessed to have known the people of my maternal Grandparents generation and am also proud and blessed of my paternal ancestry.
My purpose with this entry was to provide links to various resources as many who will offer opinions do not have either the academic credentials or the personal connections to really offer anything better than you or I. They won’t admit it, but I will and provide citations to allow you to investigate yourself. One great thing about studying and teaching history is that it exposes you to a multitude of areas which other fields of study may never offer the opportunity or necessity to enter.
For anyone interested in blogs which chronicle many aspects of Native American Indian culture, I recommend the various blogs written by a regular reader of this site. I’m providing the link to the homepage of the site I from where I first read his posts.