Washington Redskins Have Time On Their Side In TM Dispute

Law360, New York (June 19, 2013, 12:19 PM EDT) -- The federal Lanham Act prohibits anyone from registering a trademark that disparages particular groups or cultures. So why have efforts to cancel the NFL Redskins franchise’s trademark registrations been ineffective? The short answer is that time is on the Redskins’ side.

A federally registered trademark may only be canceled as disparaging if the trademark would have been considered offensive at the time it was registered. Modern sentiment is not taken into consideration, and establishing that American Indians would have found the team’s trademarks offensive in the...
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