An important step has been achieved in the battle to establish the term "redskins" as a racist epithet. The football team that is determined to hold onto that name has been stripped of its trade mark status.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, calling the football team’s name “disparaging to Native Americans.”
The landmark case, which appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, was filed on behalf of five Native Americans. It was the second time such a case was filed.
Federal trademark law does not permit registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.” The ruling pertains to six different trademarks associated with the team, each containing the word “Redskin.”This is a gratifying example of establishing the principle that there are other considerations to be balanced against the right of individuals to engage in unlimited free speech.