Department of Justice Intervenes In REDSKINS Trademark Dispute
The Department of Justice announced on January 9, 2015 that the United Stated will intervene in an ongoing dispute between Amanda Blackhorse and four other American Indians against Pro-Football, Inc., the owner of the Washington Redskins football team, concerning the football team’s registered trademarks. The government is intervening in order to defend the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052 (a), which prohibits registration of scandalous or disparaging trademarks. The Washington Redskins’ trademarks were originally cancelled in a decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeals Board on June 18, 2014, because the term “Redskins” were deemed to be disparaging to American Indians at the time of registration. This decision is now being challenged in an appeal to the federal District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.