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Opponents Concede Victory to Redskins in Trademark Battle

The club will now prevail in its effort to protect its trademarks.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Washington Redskins Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Both the Department of Justice and counsel for Native American appellees have now separately informed the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that the recent ruling in Matal v. Tam is controlling authority in the Redskins’ case, and, as such, continuing to litigate the matter is pointless.

That concession means that a Redskins’ victory is now a mere formality. The decision to cancel the Redskins’ federal trademarks as “disparaging” will now be null and void. That’s thanks to the Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling in Tam that rejecting or cancelling trademarks based on offensive content is unconstitutional as a violation of the First Amendment.

This outcome is a major victory for the Washington franchise, as it is the first time in a generation that any possible future challenge to the “Redskins” trademark on these grounds is now impossible.

For more information on the history of this case, see the previous pieces I wrote on the topic here, here, and especially here.


Did the courts get it right?

This poll is closed

  • 94%
    Yes, potentially offensive trademarks should get the same protection as non-offensive trademarks
    (434 votes)
  • 5%
    No, the government should have the power to refuse to give trademark protection to trademarks that may offend
    (26 votes)
460 votes total Vote Now