Redskins Brush Off Trademark Ruling: ‘We’ve Seen This Story Before’


The Washington Redskins said Wednesday’s ruling that canceled its trademark registrations was no big deal.

“We’ve seen this story before,” Bob Raskopf, the team’s trademark attorney, said in a statement. “And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo.”

Raskopf’s statement came in response to a ruling from The United States Patent and Trademark Office, which ruled that the team’s trademarks “were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered.”

“This ruling – which of course we will appeal – simply addresses the team’s federal trademark registrations, and the team will continue to own and be able to protect its marks without the registrations,” Raskopf said. “The registrations will remain effective while the case is on appeal.”

Wednesday’s ruling was the second time the patent office had considered and ruled on a petition to cancel the Redskins’ trademark registrations. Following the last ruling, a federal court ultimately reversed the patent office’s decision. Raskopf argued that the “evidence in the current claim is virtually identical to the evidence a federal judge decided was insufficient more than ten years ago.”

“We expect the same ultimate outcome here,” he said.


Eric Lach is a reporter for TPM. From 2010 to 2011, he was a news writer in charge of the website?s front page. He has previously written for The Daily,, GlobalPost and other publications. He can be reached at