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U.S. Patent Office cancels Redskins trademark, says name is 'disparaging'

The Redskins' name change seems to be inching closer.
Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A name change for the Washington Redskins seems to be closer than ever. ESPN reported on Wednesday, June 18, 2014, that the United States Patent Office has ruled that it will be canceling the team's federal trademarks on their nickname.

The U.S. Patent Office has said that the nickname of Redskins is "disparaging to Native Americans" and should be no more.

Over the course of the past few years, many have built up their efforts to have the team change their nickname from the Redskins. Within the past year, the campaign has gained a lot more steam and the pressure has truly been coming down on the NFL and Redskins' owner Dan Snyder.

The case appeared before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board after being filed on behalf of five Native Americans. This was the second time that the case was filed with the first coming in 1999 and overturned in 2003.

“This victory was a long time coming and reflects the hard work of many attorneys at our firm,” said lead attorney Jesse Witten, of Drinker Biddle & Reath.

Now, the ruling doesn't necessarily mean that the Redskins will have to change the nickname for the NFL team. An appeal will likely be filed and the team can keep the name during that time.

It could keep the team and the league from making any money on merchandise with the Redskins' name on it though. This ruling limits the team's legal options when others use the logos and team name on sweatshirts, beer glasses, T-shirts, and license plate holders.

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