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Bill would outlaw REDSKIN trademarks


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Proposed House bill prohibits trademarking REDSKIN term as disparaging.

MARCH 20, 2013 – the House of Representatives introduced H.R. 1287 regarding the disparagement of Native American persons or peoples through marks that use the term ‘‘redskin.”

The proposed law would amend the Trademark Act of 1946 to prohibit the registration of a mark consisting of or including the term REDSKIN as disparaging if:

  1. it is used in connection with Native American persons; or
  2. the USPTO Director finds it is associated with Native American persons.

It also directs the USPTO to cancel existing trademark registrations containing REDSKINS if associated with Native Americans.

It is interesting to note that the bill finds the mere association of REDSKIN with Native American persons prima facie disparaging.  It is likely a counter-argument to the bill will be that (particularly in the case of the NFL) that the term is used to convey strength, courage and excellence….for professional athletic teams generally do not adopt brands that are self-disparaging. 

REDSKINS-113hr1278ih.pdf (248.57 kb)

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