Supreme Court hands Redskins a victory in trademark case

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A Supreme Court decision this morning will serve as a victory for the Washington Redskins’ ongoing efforts to protect their team name.

The Court ruled that the federal government may not prohibit trademarks on “immoral” or “scandalous” materials, in a case brought by a clothing line known as FUCT. Although the Redskins were not a party to the case, it represents a victory for the team because opponents of the team name have argued that they should lose their trademark protection under the “immoral or scandalous” laws that have now been ruled unconstitutional.

This is the second recent case in which the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment defends the free speech of companies that have offensive trademarks.

Losing trademark protection wouldn’t have forced the team to change its name, but it would have potentially cost the team money in merchandise sales, which might have been a first step toward Dan Snyder changing his stated determination “never” to change the name. Now Snyder doesn’t have to worry about that.