By Ian Simpson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the federal trademarks for the National Football League’s Washington Redskins because they disparage Native Americans, the agency said on Wednesday.
The decision by a Patent Office administrative tribunal followed years of criticism of the Washington club by Native Americans and others who said the name was denigratory.
Evidence presented to the tribunal showed that “Redskins” was disparaging of Native Americans, it said in a statement.
“Thus, the federal registrations for the ‘Redskins’ trademarks involved in this proceeding must be canceled,” the agency said.
The decision can be reviewed by a federal court. The ruling does not mean that the trademarks can no longer be used by the NFL club, only that they are no longer registered, the statement said.
(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Jim Loney)