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It's Back...the fight of the "Redskins" name 2003 style


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Wednesday, July 23

Redskins try to keep federal trademark protection.

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Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Redskins, again facing off against American Indians who find the team's name offensive, asked a judge to overturn a ruling that revoked the team's federal trademark protection.

"My clients honor -- they don't ridicule,'' said Redskins lawyer Robert Raskopf, echoing the team's long-held contention that its use of the nickname is meant as a tribute.

Seven American Indians successfully argued otherwise in 1999, when the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board granted their petition to cancel the team's trademark registrations because of a federal law that prohibits registering "disparaging'' names.

The Redskins appealed, and U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly heard the case Wednesday. A ruling is not expected for a few weeks, after Kollar-Kotelly has had time to review a sealed deposition by Redskins owner Dan Snyder regarding the case's possible financial impact.

If the team loses the case, it stands to lose its exclusive rights to market the Redskins name, particularly through merchandise. The petitioners hope this would lead Snyder to change the nickname, although he has pledged not to do so.

Raskopf was unrelenting in his criticism of the trademark board, telling Kollar-Kotelly that "they obviously lack the ability to separate good evidence from bad.'' He attacked the petitioners' use of dictionary definitions of "redskin,'' said a phone survey presented as evidence was flawed and that the seven petitioners were not sufficiently representative of the American Indian population.

"It can't be seven people. It can't be 100 people. It can't be 1,000 people,'' Raskopf said. "There are 2.41 million Native Americans.''

The lead petitioner, Suzan Shown Harjo, said the team has yet to produce an American Indian that favors the team's nickname since the petition was first filed in 1992.

"The largest Native American organizations support not only our position against the name, but our side in the suit,'' Harjo said. "It's been more than 11 years, and they've yet to produce any Native American people.''

The team first registered the Redskins nickname in 1967, and Raskopf argued that a "ridiculously long'' period of 25 years before the petition was filed against it. Raskopf said the sealed financial evidence shows the Redskins would suffer "every imaginable loss you can think of'' if they lost the exclusivity of the brand they had been marketing for 36 years.

Michael Lindsay, lawyer for the petitioners, claimed the team would suffer minimal financial impact, but Kollar-Kotelly was skeptical of his premise.

"If it doesn't make any difference,'' the judge said, "then why do people register?''

In a related story, supporters for American Bald Eagles are filing claim that the noble birds would rather die than be connected to the city of Philadelphia. A Federal Court hearing is scheduled this fall to decide if Philadelphia is really a city or a horrible dream people are having after a night of Mexican food and heavy drinking.

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Guest SkinsHokie Fan

Ugh here we go again. If the Redskins dare change the name I will be the first filing suit in court against every Native American organization as well as the Redskins preventing the name from being changed. Whose with me?

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This is a load of crap. When my Mom worked for Mr Cooke Sr/Jr, they kept a book full of letters from American Indians groups and individuals that thought it was great that a pro football team was named after them. Gee......wonder what that book would be worth to the danny right about now.

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Originally posted by Skyward72

If they lose it will be the Washington Warriors soon. Ive heard that the NFL has already trademarked the name.

Could have to do with the new uniforms last year.

Here is a copy of the trademark. Keep in mind Daniel Snyder has the rights to an Arena Football League franchise in the D.C. area, and when they were first announced, uniforms resembling the Redskins 65-69 unis were rumored to be for the Arena team.

Typed Drawing

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Word Mark WASHINGTON WARRIORS

Goods and Services IC 016. US 002 005 022 023 029 037 038 050. G & S: PAPER PRODUCTS, NAMELY, GAME PROGRAMS, CALENDARS, POSTERS AND MAGAZINES IN THE FIELD OF FOOTBALL

IC 025. US 022 039. G & S: CLOTHING, NAMELY, ANORAKS, CAPS, GLOVES, HATS, HEADBANDS, JACKETS, JERSEYS, PANTS, PARKAS, RAINWEAR, SHIRTS, SHORTS, SOCKS, SWEATERS, SWEATPANTS, SWEATSHIRTS, TOPS, T-SHIRTS, VISORS, WARM-UP SUITS AND WRISTBANDS

IC 041. US 100 101 107. G & S: ENTERTAINMENT SERVICES IN THE NATURE OF PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL GAMES AND EXHIBITIONS

Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING

Serial Number 75937288

Filing Date March 7, 2000

Filed ITU FILED AS ITU

Published for Opposition August 7, 2001

Owner (APPLICANT) Washington Football, Inc. CORPORATION MARYLAND 21300 Redskins Park Drive Ashburn VIRGINIA 20147

Attorney of Record Kathy J. McKnight

Disclaimer NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE "WASHINGTON" APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN

Type of Mark TRADEMARK. SERVICE MARK

Register PRINCIPAL

Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

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Heck we have had universities change mascots because they were white and not representing the so called diversity of the school remember the Minutemen?

Heck some groups wanted to change GWs colonials mascot.

I say the mascot of the DC baseball team (the Corporate BigWigs) should be of a pleasingly plump upper class white guy with a nice stogie and a sh1t eating grin on his face while sitting behind a big desk made from trees in the old growth forest

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Originally posted by Cleotis

well redskin is a racil slur you guys. i would love to see the tennesee whitetrash or the alabama ofays

I am so tired of reading about this. It has been cussed and discussed more times then anybody wants to think about. There have been I don't know how many surveys and you name it and in every one that I saw, the majority of people who responded, MANY of which were Native Americans, did not find the name disparaging, a slur, racially insensitive or anything else. I just wish the moral majority would find a cave and take up residence in it. :2cents:

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If they in fact become the Washington Warriors how is that any better than the Redskins?

I think Snyder will take the 5 million hit on the trademark revenue and take the bounce from unlicenced merchandise proliferating the team's trademark. If more people are wearing Redskins paraphenalia then more people will attend expensive golf tournaments etc. He should be able to survive this problem. I'd love it if more people wore Redskins hats than Cowboys hats. We may not be far off from that day if the name becomes public property.

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Since the American Indians in the suit are using the dictionary term, they contend it is disparaging.

Main Entry: red·skin

Pronunciation: 'red-"skin

Function: noun

Date: 1699

usually offensive : AMERICAN INDIAN

Warrior has a different definition.

Main Entry: war·rior

Pronunciation: 'wor-y&r, 'wor-E-&r, 'wär-E- also 'wär-y&r

Function: noun

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: Middle English werriour, from Old North French werreieur, from werreier to make war, from werre war —more at WAR

Date: 14th century

: a man engaged or experienced in warfare; broadly : a person engaged in some struggle or conflict <poverty warriors>

Redskin says it is "usually" offensive. Warrior says it is "often" attributive.

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Originally posted by Cleotis

well redskin is a racil slur you guys. i would love to see the tennesee whitetrash or the alabama ofays

I, as a white person, would not give a flying f#ck if they named a team that. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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The lead petitioner, Suzan Shown Harjo, said the team has yet to produce an American Indian that favors the team's nickname since the petition was first filed in 1992.

I hereby volunteer to fulfill my duties for the good of the team, as a member of the Citizens Potawatomi Nation. (For a suitable compensation.)

Can we arrainge for my testimony to occurr the Friday before the Dallas game?

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"The lead petitioner, Suzan Shown Harjo, said the team has yet to produce an American Indian that favors the team's nickname since the petition was first filed in 1992"

I wonder where all the Native Americans are who were in the poll that The Sporting News ran last year? Or was it Sports Illustrated? Did they all just fall off the face of the earth? Then again maybe she doesn't want to hear from any of them. I don't remember the exact numbers but I believe it was somewhere around 70 to 75 per cent of the Native American polled had no problem with the name.

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I find that statement that no Native Americans have come forward since the suit was filed in 1992 that favors the teams name laughable.

Mark Rypen is a Native American. What year did he lead the Skins to the Superbowl? Didn't he play a few years after that for the Skins?

I distincly remember the press asking him about the team name during the Superbowl media day and he said something to the effect that he was proud to be a Redskin and did not find the name offensive.

Some one get that soundbyte and play it to her over and over and over while she's on the stand and lets see how credible her story will become.

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