Sport Supreme Court ruling paves way for Redskins to resume, likely win trademark fight

18:40  19 june  2017
18:40  19 june  2017 Source:

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The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal trademarks of terms some consider derogatory are covered by the First Amendment, a decision that, in all likelihood, will clear the way for the Washington Redskins to get back trademarks that were canceled in 2014 after complaints by Native Americans.

Monday's ruling came in a case involving an Asian-American rock band called "The Slants" in the case Matal, interim director, United States Patent and Trademark Office vs. Tam.

"It offends a bedrock First Amendment principle: Speech may not be banned on the ground that it expresses ideas that offend," Justice Samuel Alito wrote for a unanimous court.

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The Supreme Court of the United States will hear a case tomorrow that will take on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s application Watering down jersey sales won ’t bankrupt the team, but it would certainly piss off Dan Snyder. Patent Office Rules Against Redskins , Cancels Trademark .

A federal judge in 2015 affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board's 2014 revocation of six federal trademark registrations belonging to the Redskins.

Revoking the trademarks hasn't prevented the team from continuing to use the nickname, but, according to Forbes, "it did erase important protections that serve to cause many individuals and corporations to file for such protections in the first place," such as preventing others from using the nickname for profit.

Redskins helmets © (Getty Images) Redskins helmets

With Monday's ruling, it's expected the Redskins not only will be allowed to resume their legal fight for reinstatement of the trademarks but also likely will prevail in that fight.

The Supreme Court had left the NFL team's case pending in a federal appeals court in order to hear Simon Tam's challenge for the Portland, Ore.-based rock band.

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