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25 Fed. Cir. B.J. 241 (2015-2016)
Beyond "Redskins": A Source-Based Framework for Analyzing Disparaging Trademarks and Native American Sports Logos

handle is hein.journals/fedcb25 and id is 259 raw text is: 





Beyond Redskins: A Source-

Based Framework for Analyzing

Disparaging Trademarks and

Native American Sports Logos


Ingrid Messbauer*


Introduction
   On July 8, 2015, the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in
Pro-Football, Inc. v. Blackhorse' upheld the U.S. Patent and Trademark Of-
fice's decision2 to cancel the Washington Redskins3 trademark registrations
on the grounds that the term Redskin is disparaging to Native Americans.
This decision comes after decades of Native American activism to end the
use of Native American imagery, team names,  and mascots at all levels of
sports, whether professional, collegiate, or junior.' The Pro-Football case re-
lies on 15 U.S.C. § 1052(a), which prohibits the registration of trademarks
that disparage . . . persons . . . or bring them into contempt or disrepute.'
However, in order to find that the term Redskins is disparaging, the court
in Pro-Football focuses on proving that the term was a racial slur at the time
of registration. It does not address the use of other Native American imagery
or other potentially harmful team names such as Chiefs or Braves that



   * Ingrid Messbauer is a 2016 JD candidate at the George Washington University Law
School.
    No. 1:14-cv-01043-GBL-IDD, 2015 WL 4096277 (D. Va. July 8, 2015).
  2 Blackhorse v. Pro-Football, Inc., 111 U.S.P.Q.2d 1080, 2014 WL 2757516 (T.T.A.B.
2014).
    The Washington Redskins are a professional U.S. football team representing Washington,
D.C. in the National Football League. For more information, see WASHINGTON REDSKINS,
http://www.redskins.com/index.html (last visited Sept. 9, 2015).
  4 See Pro-Football, 2015 WL 4096277, at *35. The Washington Redskins franchise has
multiple trademarks, each of which includes the word Redskin or depicts the team's logo,
a caricature of a Native American warrior. See id at *1-3. For the purposes of this Article,
these marks are similar enough in content and form that they will not be treated individually.
   ' See Jennifer Guiliano, The Fascination and Frustration with Native American Mascots,
THE SOCIETY PAGES (Aug. 20, 2013), http://thesocietypages.org/specials/mascots/.
    Pro-Football, 2015 WL 4096277, at *21.
  ' See id. at *23-33.

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