Oneida Indian Nation Praises Rejection of Another 'Redskins' Trademark

ICTMN Staff
3/19/14

At least 12 trademarks with the word “Redskin” or “Redskins” have been denied by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office thus far, but there’s one that’s status is still pending: the Washington (NFL) Redskins.

On Monday, however, the twelfth one, “Washington Redskins Potatoes” was not given protection because it contained the derogatory and dictionary defined slur “Redskins.”

In its decision, the agency said, “Registration is refused because the applied-for mark includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols. Given that ‘REDSKIN’ in the mark is a derogatory slang term that refers to, and is considered offensive by, American Indians, registration of the applied-for mark must be refused.” 

In January, ICTMN reported that the agency rejected an application for “Redskins Hog Rinds,” and listed five separate definitions to explain how offensive the word is. 

RELATED Patent Office: Your 'Redskins' Pork Rinds Are Racist, Trademark Denied

The Oneida Indian Nation, which started the grassroots Change the Mascot campaign said that the decision sends the right message, but there is still work to be done.

“Once again, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office is making clear what should be obvious to everyone with a conscience – that “Redskins” is not a term which anyone with common decency would use to address a Native American. Despite the team’s claim that the mascot is a term of honor, the reality is that it is a dictionary-defined slur that insults and denigrates Native Americans. The R-word has no place in modern society,” said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter in a news release. 

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