With the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) recently stripping the Washington Redskins of the trademark to their logo, it looks like it might be the end for the storied franchise. But what wasn’t initially reported was that the U.S. Patent Office received exactly zero complaints about the name, The Washington Times reports. (RELATED: US Patent Office Cancels ‘Redskins’ Trademark)
The Trademark Trial and Review Board stripped the team of their trademark because it deemed the logo offensive. If the ruling holds up on appeal, it means anyone would be able to use the likeness of the Redskins for merchandising, which would cause a significant dent in revenue for the team and the NFL. (RELATED: 12 Trademarks Declared Less Offensive Than Redskins)
An attorney for Amanda Blackhorse, the plaintiff in the trademark case, told the Times the lack of correspondence was not unusual.
“There are regimented procedures in which the USPTO makes its decisions, and there is no mechanism for input from the general public,” attorney Jesse A. Witten wrote in an email to the Times. “This is not at all like the notice and comment period that accompanies a regulatory rule making.”
The Redskins and owner Dan Snyder have not lost the trademark yet, as they wait for appeals. A similar case was overturned on appeals in 2003. The team’s trademark attorney, Bob Raskopf, said he expects a similar outcome in this case. (SLIDESHOW: 13 Names For The Washington Redskins To Please The Thought Police)
“This case is no different from the earlier case, where the board canceled the Redskins‘ trademark registrations and where a federal-district court disagreed and reversed the board,” he said.
Despite no formal letters to the Patent Office, politicians including President Barack Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have been vocal about their disapproval of the name.
“I will not stand idly by while a professional sports team promotes a racial slur as a team name and disparages the American people,” Reid said in a letter to Snider. “Nor will I consider your invitation to attend a home game until your organization chooses to do the right thing and change its offensive name. (RELATED: Reid Gloats Over Revoked Redskins Patent: ‘The Writing Is On The Wall)