Pelosi Says ‘Redskins’ Should Not be Protected by Trademark Office

Nancy Pelosi, the House Minority Leader said on Thursday that the word “redskins” should be removed from the status of a trademark.

While speaking in an event hosted by the National Congress of American Indians, Pelosi said that the U.S. Patent and Trademark office should reject names which are considered offensive as they have done in the past. She also said during the event, “They can keep their name on the team, but when it comes to all the stuff — that’s serious money. So I think that is one path that we can go.”

Pelosi also said during the NCAI event that the “R-word” is contemptuous and a racial slur to the Native American people. She said that the time to choose another name is in face long overdue. This is actually the first time that Ms. Pelosi has publicly put pressure on the U.S. Patent and Trademark office to apply its power to change the name. However, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office has declined to make a statement regarding the remarks of Ms. Pelosi.

In fact the USPTO had earlier rejected application for trademarks related to the terms such as Redskins Fanatic, Redskin Rooters, and Redskins Hog Rinds on the ground that “redskins” was considered a “derogatory term.”

A lawsuit to change the name of the NFL team is currently pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board; and as per a recent update in January in The Washington Post, a decision on the matter was expected soon. A similar suit was brought in 1992 by Suzan Harjo, but the case was not successful and was rejected on reasons of technicality in 2009.

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