Six trademarks held by the Washington NFL team were canceled Wednesday because "Redskins" is disparaging, a federal board ruled. Letter to the editor and comments from Facebook are edited for clarity and grammar:
USA TODAY's article "Federal board could hold key" gave an excellent analysis of the Redskins trademark dispute.
As a trademark attorney, I was especially interested to read that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has declined to grant at least 12 "Redskins" federal trademark registrations on disparagement grounds since 1992.
Even if the Washington NFL franchise successfully appeals the recent decision, Washington would be wise to change its name as soon as possible.
Washington's trademark portfolio is at a competitive disadvantage to the other NFL franchises. For example, in 2009, the Dallas Cowboys registered "How Bout Them Cowboys" for clothing. In comparison, there is absolutely no way that the Redskins would be able to register "Hail to the Redskins."
Howard Kline; Alexandria, Va.
My question: Why did these petitioners want the Redskins to lose their trademarks when it will just make it easier for more people to use the name? It seems like the intent is more about hurting Daniel Snyder, the team's owner, than stopping the use of the name.
— Brian L. Bledsoe
This decision will not force Snyder to change the name of the team. He has stated repeatedly that he will not.
— Todd Eller
If all professional sports teams with Native American references in their names and logos changed them, then people would forget about the American Indian and their heritage. The logos and names shouldn't be considered derogatory. They are respected.
— Ted Collins
What other ethnicity or race of people would be acceptable as a mascot for a sports team? I don't think it is OK for Irish or other ethnic groups to be given a stereotypical depiction as a team logo.
There is no inherent dignity in an image of Native Americans that brings back the era when they were portrayed as ruthless savages. Also, the success of the sports organization has nothing to do with whether the team's name is racially insensitive.
— Gary Belanger