Opinion

'Zero' thought given to changing Redskins name, team's lawyer says

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,NFL,Redskins,Sean Higgins,Patent Law

Redskins attorney Bob Raskopf said that no thought has been given to changing the professional football team's name in the wake of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's decision Wednesday to revoke six trademarks to the team's name and logo. The USPTO ruled that the team's name disparaged Native Americans and was therefore impermissible under federal trademark law.

"Zero. It's not happening," Raskopf told the Washington Examiner Thursday when asked if there had been any discussion at all on finding an alternate moniker, if only to spare the team from legal and public relations problems related to continuing to fight to retain the name.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder has previously rejected changing the name, citing the team's long history as a source of pride for the Washington metro area.

Raskopf also argued that the USPTO's ruling wasn't the game-winning sack for the team's critics that some might think. It will not go into effect while the case is under appeal — and, if necessary, the team would use every opportunity it has for appeals. In the meantime, the team will continue to protect the trademark as it did before.

"We own these registrations today. They are not canceled. If somebody knocks off our merchandise today, we have the same remedies we had yesterday," he said.

The Redskins, Raskopf noted, successfully beat back two previous efforts to strip them off trademark protection in 1999 and 2003. "We've been here before."

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