TCU’s Josh Doctson poses for photos with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by Washington Redskins as the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2016 NFL football draft, Thursday, April 28, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

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.

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Chris Queen

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