June 19, 2014
Contact: University Relations
A decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to discontinue trademark holdings for the Washington Redskins may hold fast on appeal, University of Baltimore School of Law Assistant Professor William Hubbard said on June 18.
Hubbard told The Baltimore Sun that the effort by a group of American Indian tribes to declare the trademark invalid because the team name is offensive to them may be legally enforceable. The group followed the correct legal procedure to convince the patent office to cancel the mark, he said. In the past, such efforts have been overturned on appeal, citing procedural errors.
"It appears [the group] won't have the same problem, because they've crafted the case more effectively," Hubbard told the newspaper.
Regardless, the team is widely believed to be planning an appeal.
"They will try to argue that these are isolated examples and not reflective of a larger consensus," Hubbard said. "The problem for the Redskins is there seems to be a fairly substantial amount of evidence here."
Read the Sun article.
Learn more about Prof. Hubbard.