PHOENIX — The U.S. Patent Office, Trademark Trial and Appeal Board decided Wednesday to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademarks, which includes protection for team’s name and logo, because it is “disparaging of Native Americans.”
“On the legal front, at least on the near term, there won’t be much change,” said Eric Menkhus, clinical professor of law at the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University.
Although you have the right to name your team anything, the U.S. government has the right not to protect you if someone uses your name to make money.
“What is sort of out there, I guess, is the extent that the decision will have on public opinion and whether that will put pressure on the NFL,” said Menkhus, who also works with ASU’s new Sports Law and Business Program.
Team owner Daniel Snyder has been very vocal about having no intention to change the team’s name. The Washington Redskins’ attorney released a statement Wednesday saying the “ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.”
Menkhus said it could be like Donald Sterling, where the NBA is stepping in to force him to sell the Los Angeles Clippers.
“It is similar in that if there’s something that’s hurting the brand of the NFL, that the league itself has rights against owners to put pressure to do certain things,” he said.
So what’s the bottom line? Will the name be changed?
“At this point, I think it’s inevitable, yes,” Menkhus said. “I mean, I think Daniel Snyder can fight it, and maybe it will be years down the road, but at this point, I think the tide is turning.”
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever
- Gameday recipes and beers to match
- 6 reasons the Cardinals are driven to win the Super Bowl
- The Pac-12 football season nears kickoff
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas