Thursday, August 10, 2006

Trademark News: The "Redskins" ® Trademark Debate Continues…

It was announced yesterday that the debate over the "disparaging" terminology, "Redskins" ®, has not ceased. You may recall the famous 1992 petition to cancel the "Redskins" ® registrations that were headed by Suzan Shown Harjo, a "poet, writer, lecturer, curator and policy advocate."

This is one trademark debate that I have strong, personal opinions about and I'm personally rooting for the six young American Indian people as well as the American Indian community as a whole. And here's why:

1) The term and anything similar to it is "disparaging." The root of the word is from the Middle English word, disparagen, which means to degrade. Racial slurs by their very nature degrade.

2) Based on the USPTO's description, it appears that these marks should not stand.

3) The degradation of any person or community really should not be acceptable in any sense, and this includes commercial endeavors. And it's up to all of us to ensure that.

This is not a matter of "political correctness" going overboard as one is wont to hear when this debate arises; it is a matter of right and wrong.

Again, this is just my own personal opinion and I'm not a lawyer so the debate will be decided by those "in the know."

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