Washington, D.C. - A federal judge in Northern Virginia made a ruling Wednesday ordering the cancellation of the Washington Redskins' federal trademark regulations.
The decision affirms an earlier ruling by the federal Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. In June of 2014, the board ruled that the team's name is “disparaging to Native Americans,” which goes against a federal trademark law that prohibits registration of trademarks that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.”
The Redskins are free to continue using the name while going through the appeals process in the federal court system. Even if they take the case to the Supreme Court and lose, they could still use the name by seeking trademark protections under state law.
However, the team has argued that cancellation of their trademarks could affect their brand and legal benefits that protect the use of the brand.