a reply to: Domo1
Hrmmm, I really find this strange that it's being allowed to go forward, especially with this being some of the basis of that suit:
The team argues that the name is not offensive, and that canceling its trademarks would violate its free speech rights and take its property
So a violation of the team's free speech is being cited but the First Amendment states this with the pertinent portion emphasized:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom
of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Congress can not prohibit or abridge the freedom speech. A trademark office is a part of that federalized government so sure, sue away. However,
there is nothing in the First Amendment in regards to other people utilizing their own free speech to complain about your free speech in terms of
being a prohibition or abridging. I mean if individuals complaining about what somebody says is a violation of free speech rights then when that jerk
who mouths off horribly to his host gets tossed out on his butt, I suppose that's a violation of the mouthy one's rights to free speech as well.
Just because one has a mouth (and fingers) has never meant that people cannot complain about the usage of either. That's their right, too. If the
Redskins want to sue somebody, then they should sue the trademark office and tackle the very aspect of trademarking that was utilized to dispose of
their trademark patent, which is, I'm guessing, this subsection of the trademark portion of the code:
No trademark by which the goods of the applicant may be distinguished from the goods of others shall be refused registration on the principal
register on account of its nature unless it—
(a) Consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons,
living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute; or a geographical indication which, when used
on or in connection with wines or spirits, identifies a place other than the origin of the goods and is first used on or in connection with wines or
spirits by the applicant on or after one year after the date on which the WTO Agreement (as defined in section 3501 (9) of title 19) enters into force
with respect to the United States.
The claim that the suit is about a violation of their free speech is b.s. That's just a rallying cry because if they really wanted to go after the
above sub-section, they would've taken the trademark office decision to that appellate court. Instead, they are opting to go against those 5 Native
. You see when a ruling has been made that there's been a case of trademark infringement, 15 U.S. Code Chapter 22, Subchapter III
provides possibilities for those 5 Native Americans to basically take all the proceeds gained under that trademark, which would basically threaten
bankruptcy of the Washington Redskins depending on how far back that assessment could go. Based on the OP article, that would be mostly likely since
1967. They are essentially going on the offensive.
My thought is this--they probably should've changed their name a while back when complaints began to arise and/or when that subsection of the Landham
Act was enacted in December of 1993. Probably the biggest reason why they aren't fighting it in appellate court was the inclusion of that provision
of the Lanham Act was part of the above mentioned WTO agreement from the USC itself.
Legalese is great, isn't it?
**One more thing, as the OP article stated, "The team's trademark protection remains in place while the issue makes its way through the court system."
That's a big part of it, too. They can bog this down for years or until the defendants in their suit cry mercy because they can't continue to pay
the atty fees.
edit on 3/11/14 by WhiteAlice because: added **