Tags: washington | redskins | trademark | free | speech

Washington Redskins Trademark a Free-Speech Right, Says Team

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 09:38 AM

The Washington Redskins' trademark debate kicked off in court on Monday as team lawyers filed papers arguing that a government decision to rescind it infringed on free-speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.

According to the Washington Times, The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board canceled the trademark last year on the premise that the name could be offensive to Native Americans.

The name is not disparaging, Redskins lawyers contend. Furthermore, they say that even if it is offensive, "disfavored treatment based solely on the content of its protected speech, interfere[s] with the ongoing public discourse over the Redskins' name by choosing sides and cutting off the debate. This the U.S. Constitution does not tolerate."

In similar cases, government lawyers have argued that rescinding a trademark and the protections thereof does not rise to the level of a ban, and that the Redskins will be able to continue operating with the name thereafter.

In response, the team argues that by stripping the protections of a trademark, its speech is burdened, and that still violates the First Amendment.

The Redskins have used the name since 1933. Some Native American's find it offensive, others find it neutral, and some see it as a source of pride.

The hearing on the case will begin in May.

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The Washington Redskins' trademark debate kicked off in court on Monday as team lawyers filed papers arguing that a government decision to rescind it infringed on free-speech rights guaranteed by the First Amendment.
washington, redskins, trademark, free, speech
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2015-38-25
Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 09:38 AM
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