Supreme Court to hear case with relevance to Washington trademark dispute

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As the ultimate power of the executive branch will soon be transferred from a President who believes the Washington team should change its name to a President-Elect who believes it shouldn’t, the ultimate power of the judicial branch will hear arguments in a case that will impact the lingering legal dispute regarding whether the team should lose the federal protections applicable to their name.

Via the Associated Press, the balance between free speech and trademark rights will be determined via an Asian-American band whose chosen name arises from a term that is offensive to Asian-Americans. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office refused to register the name in 2011, sparking the legal fight that lands in the highest court on the land on Wednesday.

The lingering dispute regarding the Washington name has been placed on hold pending the outcome of the litigation that will be resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court. The team had tried to have its case merged with the case that will be heard Wednesday.

Instead, the outcome of Wednesday’s case will become precedent that will apply to Washington’s case.

A loss won’t mean that the team’s name must change. Instead, it will eliminate the federal protections applicable to the name, allowing anyone to sell merchandise bearing the label without permission from the team.

42 responses to “Supreme Court to hear case with relevance to Washington trademark dispute

  1. Well I guess what your trying to say is nothing will change. I can’t imagine the hyper PC millennial Snowflake crowd is suddenly going to start going crazy marketing stuff under the name Redskins. As a patriot fan of 50 + years I say “hail redskins”!

  2. Good to know that the Supreme Court has a light schedule so that they can take time to solve and rule on this most important issue. Talk about a can of worms, and of course Pandora’s box. Don’t worry, The Donald will make America Great again and tell the court by way of a tweet to chill out. Bill

  3. Only a lawyer or someone poorly educated could believe that the judicial branch holds “ultimate power” in a republic. The people, and not 9 would-be philosopher kings, hold ultimate power in this nation. When the people – particularly NFL fans – decide the name of the Washington franchise is racist, the people will force change….most likely by choosing to spend their entertainment dollars elsewhere as that’s a lot easier than marching, protesting or even ranting on a website.

  4. A loss would mean that Political winds could give Federal Protection with each administration, depending on mindset of that Administration. Under an anti-freedom of business / people Obama administration, the Protections that were extended for 50+ years were not extended. Trump could re-extend that protection, and then future administrations could fluctuate back and forth…

  5. Just my opinion, but if the Redskins want to use the Redskins name, then they should be entitled to use the Redskins name and logo and profit and benefit from it like any other pro sports franchise, like the Chiefs, Braves, Indians (with Chief Wahoo) or Illini. And if the Redskins wanted a mascot that impersonated Chief Wahoo, then I think the Redskins should be able to. I think this kerfuffle over the Redskins name is much ado about nothing. A recent poll indicated that 90% of Native Americans are NOT offended by the Redskins name. So if the vast majority are not (we live in a democracy, after all), then I think the Redskins franchise should be able to keep and profit from the Redskins name and logo.

  6. Would love to see someone point out the article and section in the Constitution where it says that “offensive” words are not subject to the same legal protections as those words that have received the statists’ blessing….I’ll wait.

  7. So I assume you were at the front lines at the Dakota Pipeline protests. Can u tell me a story of one time in your life that you have heard someone turn to somebody and call them a Redskin in a racial manner? What’s next…the cleaning product Spic and Span ?

  8. I believe a number of you don’t even understand what the court case is about. Win or lose Washington can continue using Redskins. The issue is whether or not it will be protected as a trade mark.

  9. A loss won’t mean that the team’s name must change. Instead, it will eliminate the federal protections applicable to the name, allowing anyone to sell merchandise bearing the label without permission from the team.
    ~~~~~~~~~
    The logic here is tragic. It is not OK for a team to profit from owning the trademark rights to a word and logo you personally find offensive, but it is fine for EVERYBODY else to steal their marks for their own profit.

    I am surprised SCOTUS took that case. For them to properly rule on that issue they must first define what is offensive and to what degree. Why should one group’s feeling of being offended supersede the other group’s feeling of self expression?

    SCOTUS will not want to set precedent for the easily offended SJWs to get their way via feigned outrage or genuine anger towards something few reasonable people would find disturbing. Many liberals are easily offended by a point of view that does not mirror their own. Even SCOTUS liberal justices can see that.

  10. How come you never wrote a single article on the results of the last trademark case a year ago that affected the Redskins? LOL

  11. Mike, were you deliberately going for controversy when you made this thread? You ought to know by now that the vast majority of your readers are middle aged white and very right wing conservative makes. They hate anything regarding equality and don’t have a clue what it’s like to be a minority in this country or about issues involving minorities. People here aren’t racist per se but they do have a knee jerk negative reaction to issues involving race issues.

  12. A loss won’t mean that the team’s name must change. Instead, it will eliminate the federal protections applicable to the name, allowing anyone to sell merchandise bearing the label without permission from the team.
    ~~~~~~~~~
    The logic here is tragic. It is not OK for a team to profit from owning the trademark rights to a word and logo you personally find offensive, but it is fine for EVERYBODY else to steal their marks for their own profit.

    I am surprised SCOTUS took that case. For them to properly rule on that issue they must first define what is offensive and to what degree. Why should one group’s feeling of being offended supersede the other group’s feeling of self expression?

    SCOTUS will not want to set precedent for the easily offended SJWs to get their way via feigned outrage or genuine anger towards something few reasonable people would find disturbing. Many liberals are easily offended by a point of view that does not mirror their own. Even SCOTUS liberal justices can see that.
    ================================

    By your statement, you should be happy that SCOTUS is hearing this case because the Federal Trademark office is refusing to issue trademarks for labels they determine are offensive. The aggrieved party that brought the suit is a rock band made up of Asian Americans and the name they chose for their band is ‘The Slants’ but the Trademark office refused to trademark that name because they feel it is offensive to Asians.

  13. Yesterday’s climate: “Hail to the Redskins!”

    ……Today’s weather: “Sleet to the Chiefs!”

  14. How hypocritical. Everybody gets all hot and bothered by the name Redskins so far haven’t seen anything about the chiefs braves Indians seminoles.

    Hey ACLU, what happened to your defense of the constitution and free speech? I guess that’s only for speech you agree with.

    how about the Vikings I guess it’s OK to exploit white skin.

    I’m surprised PETA hasn’t gotten all up in arms with the animal names.

    Next we’ll have demands that the skin tone of logos like the patriots & Raiders be darkened so that they’re more inclusive.

  15. So, a bunch of rich white guys are meeting to see if it’s ok if another rich white guy uses a racial slur created by white guys and meant to degrade a group of people. Furthermore, non native people are coming on here in droves to tell me I shouldn’t be offended and calling me a snowflake when I am. Sorry, but isn’t stealing our land, raping our people, attempted genocide, and destructuin of our customs and way of life enough for you ignorant people? I guess not, let’s name a team in or nation’s capitol none the less after an obvious slur, seems ok. If you’re not a Native American then you have exactly 0 say in this issue, and if you are Native and not offended then you need to brush up on our peoples history.

    With that all being said, this is still the USA and if they want to keep using that slur for their team name they should be able too. Don’t tell me not to be offended though or that somehow you’re “honoring” my people by using it. I’m not stupid and white people don’t exactly have a great track record when it comes to honesty and integrity in regards to Native Americans. It’s a slur, but they should be able to use it. End of story……

  16. “Instead, it will eliminate the federal protections applicable to the name, allowing anyone to sell merchandise bearing the label without permission from the team.”

    This is legally incorrect as even if the federal protections are removed they will still have common law trademark rights, not as robust and a bit unwieldy to enforce but hardly a situation where anyone can sell merchandise without permission.

  17. “and don’t have a clue what it’s like to be a minority in this country”
    —-
    And more importantly, don’t care. It’s got nothing to do with most people. Stop wasting time worrying about everyone elses business. Live your own life.

  18. The crowd who supports the legal freedoms to use a racial slur as the name for a professional sports team, are the same people who oppose federal protected classes. The bigots and racists who love the name Redskins should be called out for what they are: “Bigots & Racists.” Below is a list of protected classes they will more than likely be successful at doing away with under Trump.

    Federal protected classes include:
    Race.
    Color.
    Religion or creed.
    National origin or ancestry.
    Sex.
    Age.
    Physical or mental disability.
    Veteran status.

  19. What is so offensive about the name Washington? That must be the offensive name. Surely Florio wouldn’t be so childish to refuse to use their team nickname would he? Say it with me Florio REDSKINS…REDSKINS….REDSKINS!!!

  20. The Donald, sorry, The President Elect, should buy the team and call them the Trump Redskins to give the leftists fits.

  21. LSUstrong, I agree with your premise but the fix is not a SCOTUS ruling. The fix is an administration that can simply tell their department heads to stop politicizing their jobs. The trademark office is out of their lane because they have put a personal agenda ahead of the fair aplication of their duties. That happened as soon as POTUS said he believes the Redskins name should be changed. It is wrong and needs to be fixed…but not by the Supreme Court.

  22. travishenrykid says:
    Jan 15, 2017 12:56 PM
    Just my opinion, but if the Redskins want to use the Redskins name, then they should be entitled to use the Redskins name and logo and profit and benefit from it like any other pro sports franchise, like the Chiefs, Braves, Indians (with Chief Wahoo) or Illini.
    ———
    Then your opinion is I’ll informed. Allow me to elaborate. You obviously haven’t the intellect or critical thinking to see that the franchise that chooses to use a nickname that denigrates indigenous people’s differs from the other nicknames in that they are generally regarded as virtuous.

  23. I didn’t read all the posts, but after a better than 50% sampling, I found one (1) post on this thread that knows what this case is about.

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