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Redskins Attorney: Today's Ruling Has No Effect on Team Name

LOUDOUN COUNTY, Va. The following is a statement by Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the Washington Redskins, regarding todays split decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board:

Weve seen this story before. And just like last time, todays ruling will haveno effect at all on the teams ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.

Redskins Are Denied Trademarks

-Washington Post, April 3, 1999

Redskins Can Keep Trademark, Judge Rules

-Washington Post, October 2, 2003

We are confident we will prevail once again, and that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Boards divided ruling will be overturned on appeal. This case is no different than an earlier case, where the Board cancelled the Redskins trademark registrations, and where a federal district court disagreed and reversed the Board.

As todays dissenting opinion correctly states, the same evidence previously found insufficient to support cancellation here remains insufficient and does not support cancellation.

This ruling which of course we will appeal simply addresses the teams federal trademark registrations, and the team will continue to own and be able to protect its marks without the registrations. The registrations will remain effective while the case is on appeal.

When the case first arose more than 20 years ago, a federal judge in the District of Columbia ruled on appeal in favor of the Washington Redskins and their trademark registrations.


As the district courts ruling made clear in 2003, the evidence is insufficient to conclude that during the relevant time periods the trademark at issue disparaged Native Americans... The court continued, The Court concludes that the [Boards] finding that the marks at issue may disparage Native Americans is unsupported by substantial evidence, is logically flawed, and fails to apply the correct legal standard to its own findings of fact. Those arent my words. That was the courts conclusion. We are confident that when a district court reviews todays split decision, it will reach a similar conclusion.

In todays ruling, the Boards Marc Bergsman agreed, concluding in his dissenting opinion:

It is astounding that the petitioners did not submit any evidence regarding the Native American population during the relevant time frame, nor did they introduce any evidence or argument as to what comprises a substantial composite of that population thereby leaving it to the majority to make petitioners case have some semblance of meaning.

The evidence in the current claim is virtually identical to the evidence a federal judge decided was insufficient more than ten years ago. We expect the same ultimate outcome here.


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