U.S. Patent Office cancels six trademarks belonging to Washington Redskins football team

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Patent Office has canceled six trademarks belonging to the Washington Redskins football team, saying they are offensive to Native Americans.

In a decision released Wednesday, the office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that the “that these registrations must be canceled because they were disparaging to Native Americans.”

The board also said it lacked the authority to prevent the team from continuing to use the trademarks.

The decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board is similar to one it issued in 1999. That ruling was overturned in 2003 in large part on a technicality because the courts decided that the plaintiffs were too old.

The new case was launched in 2006 by a younger group of Native Americans. A hearing was held in March 2013.

Just like last time, the Redskins can retain their trademark protection during an appeal.

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