06-18-2014, 10:21 AM #1
The USPTO revokes Redskins trademark
Holy moly. Brought to petition by a handful of Native Americans, the USPTO has revoked the rights to the Redskins' various trademarks (not sure if the logo is included in this ruling or just the typeset for any variation of "Redskins"), calling it disparaging toward Native Americans.
Personally, I think the name is an abomination and Snyder should have had the decency to move on from the name years ago. With that said, this ruling invokes my "slippery slope" alarm and I'm not sure about the USPTO erasing hundreds of millions of dollars of IP rights on a moment's notice.
That the very least, this is going to be a fun circus to watch in the coming months/years.
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06-18-2014, 10:55 AM #2
I had such mixed feelings about this when I read about the ruling.
I think they should have changed the Redskins name and logo long ago -- voluntarily. And I feel just as strongly about the Braves (mainly based on the Tomahawk chop which I find to be an abomination.) Oddly enough, I've never had as strong of feelings about the Indians despite the headdress, etc. -- I'm just not sure why.
But I agree, this is a really slippery slope. We have a local company that has used the outline of a warrior for many years. During most of those years I never thought of it as disparaging but in recent years, I've become so much more aware of it. Yet that image is strongly associated with a quality company in my mind.
There are hundreds (probably thousands) of small companies with Sioux and Dakota (and other tribes) in their names. I just can't imagine how this could affect all of them.
06-18-2014, 11:03 AM #3
I work for the company that produces Indian Motorcycles. I love the heritage, love the script of the name... The imagery? I'm really torn on it.
For now, I view it like this:
- Indian, while not a self-given name, doesn't automatically carry a negative connotation. Braves and Chiefs are actually positive imagery, though not really accurate.
- Redskins is a terrible name used to disparage Native Americans for centuries. Like Indian, it was also a name created by white settlers. It really has *nothing* positive going for it.
If the Tigers were named the Detroit Jigaboos, would we have issues with it? Certainly... And that's pretty much the same classification I give Redskins.
06-18-2014, 11:17 AM #4
06-18-2014, 11:19 AM #5
As a Braves fan, I will tell you that multiple times in the last 5 years, the team has attempted to revive previous logos that included a Native American in war paint or such things. All were taken down heavily. The Tomahawk Chop came from Deion Sanders and Florida State, who still uses it as well. I could take or leave the chop, though the tomahawk as part of the logo being disallowed would really bug me.Staff Writer for Tomahawktake.com, come check it out!
06-18-2014, 11:24 AM #6
The way the Indians have handled this should be a model for all sports franchises. No muss, no fuss, they quietly began removing Chief Wahoo several years ago and now I can't remember the last time I saw his likeness.
06-18-2014, 11:46 AM #7
I'm torn on the idea that you allow "positive" references as mascots. To me the problem is that we're using a race of people as mascots. Whether we do that with admiring imagery or disparaging ones is really irrelevant to me.
06-18-2014, 12:05 PM #8
06-18-2014, 12:36 PM #9
Dan Snyder is just another person in a long line of men who are short who feel the need to be a dick to everyone in order to overcompensate for their lack of height (and lack of other areas as well)
If he died, the world would truly be a better place."You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"- L. Harvey Oswald
06-18-2014, 02:28 PM #10
06-18-2014, 02:49 PM #11
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06-18-2014, 03:34 PM #12
I still think the Washington Pigskins is perfectly viable alternative that would allow them to keep their colors, and their traditional fan practices.
Did any public funding go into Washington's stadium? If so, I think that undermines Snyder's notion that the decision should be his alone.
06-18-2014, 03:35 PM #13
06-18-2014, 03:39 PM #14
I know you agree with me, I just want to punch someone in the face every time I hear or read that defense of the Redskins name.
06-18-2014, 03:49 PM #15
06-18-2014, 04:26 PM #16
Right, it takes some gall to go with that argument. It's a clear signal the person is doing very little work to understand the source of the misgivings about their beloved mascot.
I get that there's a really old-school ethic that takes exception with one group of people telling another group of people what they can or cannot do especially through public means. I think we all get that, and value such resistance.
For my part, I don't think any person or agency should force a name change. That said, the name is so brazenly disparaging, that the resistance to change is embarrassing for team, players, and the nfl. It seems forcibly stupid not to change it.
Plenty of goods and commercial products had a 'tradition' of using down-right racist iconography to peddle their goods--these companies changed not through government force (our even public outcry), but seeing that the cultural change in regard such imagery was not simply political, but material (i.e. their eventual bottom line). These brands have changed their names, imagery, what the heck ever, so they could continue to sell goods to American people.
Ultimately this is a decision that is best for business, not one made to appease liberals/minorities or done in the name of political correctness. It's so obviously bad for business going forward to keep the Redskins name. Though I'm not sure Snyder cares.
Pretty sure Aunt Jemima doesn't still advertise like this:
Last edited by PseudoSABR; 06-18-2014 at 04:30 PM.
06-18-2014, 04:48 PM #17
06-18-2014, 05:05 PM #18
Without quoting all PsuedoSABR's post, I'll agree that the Aunt Jemima advertising has been updated.
But they still use the name.
And frankly, the Mrs. Butterworth's bottle looks a lot like the old Aunt Jemima.
So the line is a little murky. Obviously the name itself doesn't have a derogatory meaning and I want my Mrs. Butterworth's bottle to retain that shape!
(But yes, I still agree on the Redskins).
06-18-2014, 05:25 PM #19
Agree the use of "Redskins" is long overdue for the dustbin.
Disagree with this ruling by the USPTO.Every post is not every other post. - a wise man
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06-18-2014, 05:56 PM #20