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Trademark Office Decrees ‘Redskins Rinds’ Racist

From a conflicted Washington Post:

Agency rejects trademark of ‘Redskins Hog Rinds,’ calling term ‘derogatory’

By Theresa Vargas | January 6, 2014

The same federal agency that will determine whether Washington’s professional football team gets to keep its trademark registration recently struck down a request for a company to sell pork rinds with the name “Redskins.”

An application to register the trademark “Redskins Hog Rinds” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was refused by an examining attorney on the basis that it contained “a derogatory slang term,” according to a letter from the agency.

“Registration is refused because the applied-for mark REDSKINS HOG RINDS consists of or includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols,” reads the letter, dated Dec. 29.

And we will learn at the end of this article that the Trademark Office has allowed other food products that contain the term ‘Redskins.’ After all, we have had redskin potatoes for a long time.

It goes on to list five definitions for the word “Redskin,” four of which describe it as an “offensive” term for Native Americans.

And never mind that most Indians don’t find the word racist. Or the fact that some schools on Indian reservations use Redskin as their team name.

By the way, has the Trademark Office ever ruled on the use of the N Word in the rap music industry?

The fifth definition uses the word “taboo.” The letter also cites several news articles as evidence that Indians find the word offensive, along with the fact that the “the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) now uses the designations ‘R*dskins’ and ‘R Word’ when referring to ‘REDSKINS’ sports teams mascots.”

Maybe this is the solution. The Redskins should just change their name to the R*dskins. After all, there are a lot of asterisks in sports now, what harm could another one do?

A lawsuit brought by a group of Native Americans aimed at revoking the NFL team’s federal trademark registration is pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. A similar suit, launched by Suzan Harjo and seven other Native Americans in 1992, was thrown out on a technicality in 2009.

As always, all of this trouble is being caused by a handful of perpetually incensed crackpots.

A decision in the current case could come any day… If the board rules against the Washington Redskins, the team wouldn’t be forced to change its name but would lose its registered trademark status, which helps protect it from individuals looking to sell merchandise with the word on it.

Which has been one of the strategies from the get-go.

In the past, trademark office examiners have rejected four other applications that used the word Redskins, including “Redskins Pigskins” and “Redskins Fanatics,” on grounds that they were disparaging…

The application for the pork rinds was submitted on behalf of a Capitol Heights man by the law firm LegalForce RAPC Worldwide. Mitesh Patel, a lawyer at the firm, said the word “Redskins” falls into an unclear area because several food items, including potatoes and nuts, have registered trademarks that contain the word…

So Redskin potatoes and nuts are not racist. But Redskin pork rinds are. And clearly, if there is any possible connection to football, it becomes a derogatory term. It all makes sense now.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, January 8th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Trademark Office Decrees ‘Redskins Rinds’ Racist”

  1. GetBackJack says:

    Sooo .. Redskin Bureaucrats is out of the question?

  2. untrainable says:

    Why not just call the pork rinds Redskins and use the existing trademark? I think when you see the product you’re going to realize that there aren’t any actual Native Americans in the bag. If you have to, toss a little red dye #3 dust on the rinds to make the point. Why does everything have to be so complicated?

  3. canary says:

    71 schools’ teams are named Redskins; notably in Native American Indian named towns and cities.


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