In June of 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) revoked the
Washington Football Team’s then mascot and logo “Redskins’” trademark, finding that it was
disparaging under the Lanham Act. To determine whether a trademark is disparaging, a two-
part test is applied:
• Is the mark understood, in its context, as referring to an identifiable group of people?
• If the mark refers to an identifiable group of people, is the meaning disparaging to a
substantial composite of that group?
In a 3- to 4-paragraph Journal entry, respond to the following:
1. Based upon the two-part test above, do you believe that the USPTO made the correct
decision in revoking the trademark of Washington Football Team’s former nickname
“Redskins”? Why or why not?
2. Given the role that trademarks play in the enterprise of professional – and collegiate –
sports and the growth of licensed sports product sales, how might losing trademark
protection affect a team’s ability to effectively operate as a business?
Support your writing with concrete examples from your personal experience, observations, and
the Learning Materials. Be sure to use proper APA citations to support all presented thoughts
and ideas in your work.
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