Washington Redskins appeal trademark ruling

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Washington Redskins filed an appeal on a ruling revoking the team's trademark on its name.

The appeal starts the case fresh, but it will be a federal court and judge who now make a decision on the trademark rather than the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

"We believe that the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ignored both federal case law and the weight of the evidence, and we look forward to having a federal court review this obviously flawed decision," said Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the Washington Redskins.

The board revoked the trademark under the grounds it was disparaging to Native Americans, but the team's complaint argues a judge would be better suited to hear the Constitutional issues at hand.

The team argues the use of the name is protected as free speech under the First Amendment and was unfairly deprived of its valuable and long-held intellectual property rights in violation of the Fifth Amendment.

"The Washington Redskins look forward to all of the issues in the case being heard in federal court under the federal rules of evidence. The team is optimistic that the court will correctly and carefully evaluate the proofs, listen to the arguments, and confirm the validity of the Washington Redskins' federal trademark registrations, just as another federal court has already found in a virtually identical case," Raskopf said.

Intellectual property experts say the revocation of the trademark had little real impact on the organization. The organization can still use the name, with or without a trademark, and can prevent others from using it under common law trademark rights, experts say.

Experts also say the appeals process will take years before it yields any clarity on the validity of the name.

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