The Washington Redskins Get To Keep Their Trademark Rights, Thanks To The Supreme Courts…And An Indie Band

Good news for the Washington Redskins in their long trademark battle against the federal government. That’s right, the patent office has dropped their case against the NFL team over what Obama and his White House considered an offensive nickname.

Why did it happen? A recent Supreme Court case involving, of all entities, an indie band, led the feds to reverse course.

In the case of Matal v. Tam, an Asian-American music band was denied a trademark right because their band name included a racial epithet. But “The Slants” band leader Simon Tam sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and won a unanimous decision when the case went to the Supreme Court.

The patent office claimed the band name violated their rule against trademarks that “disparage … persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.”

The Supreme Court ruled sided with Tam, who said the intention of the name was not to insult or offend anyone.

That case was enough for the patent office to drop their complaint.

It’s worth noting that it was hypersensitive left-wingers who found the Redskins’ name offensive, while nine out of ten actual Native Americans don’t have a problem with the name at all, according to a Washington Post poll from last year.

This is the second victory for the Redskins just this week. The NFL Shop has apparently pulled a novelty Redskins license plate because it featured the outline of Washington State rather than Washington, DC.

So will these off the field victories bode well for the team on the field this fall? We’ll have to wait and see.

Win! Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of First Amendment

The First Amendment scored a huge victory on Monday.

In a majority opinion, the Supreme Court ruled that seemingly offensive trademarks are protected under free speech. The ruling strikes down the 1946 Lanham Trademark Act – a law prohibiting trademark names that “may disparage . . . persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute.”

The case was brought forward by the Slants – an Asian American rock group that sought to trademark their name, but was denied. In 2011, the trademark office said registering the Slants’ name would violate the 1946 Lanham Trademark Act.

While losing the first legal rounds, the Slants scored a victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled the law violates the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech. The argument made its way to the Supreme Court where it ultimately resulted in the Lanham Act’s ouster.

In a Facebook statement, band founder Simon Tam celebrated the victory:

“After an excruciating legal battle that has spanned nearly eight years, we’re beyond humbled and thrilled to have won this case at the Supreme Court. This journey has always been much bigger than our band: it’s been about the rights of all marginalized communities to determine what’s best for ourselves.”

Obviously, the ramifications of this decision go well beyond the Slants.

Other organizations will now be able to seek trademark protections for any sort of wacky, controversial names. Most notably, this decision is a huge boost to the Washington Redskins football team and their fight to regain their trademark registration – which was revoked in 2014 under the exact same disparagement clause.

The Washington Redskins were so invested in this court case, in fact, the team filed an amicus brief in support of the Slants. Their attorney issued her own statement following the decision:

“The team is thrilled with today’s unanimous decision as it resolves the Redskins’ long-standing dispute with the government,” Redskins attorney Lisa Blatt said in a statement. “The Supreme Court vindicated the team’s position that the First Amendment blocks the government from denying or cancelling a trademark registration based on the government’s opinion.”

This decision is a major win for the First Amendment and for free speech in general. Who is to say what speech is offensive and what is not? In the case of the Washington Redskins, our former social justice warrior president (Barack Obama) insisted the name was offensive to Native Americans – despite polls indicating as many as nine-out-of-ten Native Americans not taking any offensive to it. In regards to the Slants, the Asian American rock group claimed the band name was a “badge of pride.”

In delivering the majority opinion, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. dropped the best line: “Giving offense is a viewpoint.”

That’s exactly the point. Offense is nothing more than a viewpoint. A viewpoint differs from person to person. We cannot (and should not) try to regulate the First Amendment by what may offend others. When making decisions in this arena we must err on the side of free speech.

Some are concerned of the consequences this decision may bring about. An intellectual property lawyer expressed her worries. “It seems this decision will indeed open the floodgates to applications for all sorts of potentially offensive and hateful marks,” said Lisa Simpson. “While this may be the right result under the First Amendment and the principles of free speech that are foundational to our country, it seems the responsibility will now pass to the public.”

Absolutely right. This responsibility rests in the hands of the public, not the government.

The Redskins Get Their Trademark Yanked by Aggrieved White Liberals

The Washington Redskins have had their trademark yanked by the US Patent and Trademark Office because white liberals who feel guilty about their privilege were offended.

That is the actual fact. Most American Indians . . . errrr . . . Native Americans could care less. In fact, on Indian Reservations around the country there are kids’ sports teams called the Redskins.

The logo itself had the collaboration of Indians at its conception.

What is really going on here is that a bunch of overeducated white guys who cry during Love Actually feel they have too much privilege and are thus guilty. So they have gone out and found things to be offended about on behalf of others less privileged than themselves.

The Washington Redskins were just standing there looking all privileged and stuff on the back of American Indians. So they were targeted by a class of men who pee sitting down.

The lesson here is that guilty feeling white liberals are a threat to freedom and, in Barack Obama’s America, the key to survive is to not appear on the radar of in Washington, D.C. Once Washington’s elite know of your existence and you do not behave like them, they will turn the power of government in your direction.

As Dave Brat said channeling his Weber and Bastiat, government has a monopoly on violence. And it is used by those who control government to attack those who do not conform to the elite’s moral code.

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