The Department of Justice has dropped their fight to cancel the trademark of the NFL’s Washington Redskins. Under the Obama regime, the government patent office had canceled the team’s trademark to the “Redskins” name, saying it was offensive. The team then sued the Obama administration to keep the trademark.
The move was precipitated by a Supreme Court decision in another case, which ruled that trademarks could not be canceled just because someone found it offensive. The decision indicated they would also rule to protect trademarks in other cases, including the Redskins.
A group of Native American activists who had also sued to cancel the Redskins trademark withdrew from the case, stating they believed the Supreme Court would also rule in favor of the Redskins.
President Trump had previously voiced his support for the team’s fight to keep the Redskins trademark.
The Justice Department is giving up the legal fight over the name of the Washington Redskins.
In a letter to a federal appeals court, the department said last week’s Supreme Court decision in favor of an Asian-American band calling itself the Slants means the NFL team will prevail in a legal battle to cancel the team’s trademarks because the name is disparaging to Native Americans.
Mark Freeman, an attorney for the Justice Department’s civil division, wrote on Wednesday to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals that the court “should reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Pro-Football.”
The Redskins case had been on hold in the federal appeals court while the Slants decision was rendered.
Thursday also saw Native Americans who brought a trademark lawsuit against the team agree that the recent Supreme Court ruling means the case is over. In a letter to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, Jesse Witten, an attorney who represents several of the Native Americans, says there is no need for oral arguments in the case.