Justice Department intervenes in Redskins trademark lawsuit


The battle between a stubborn NFL manager and a group of Native Americans has swept headlines and captivated both football fans and non-fans alike throughout 2014. The battle continues in 2015, and now Vox cannot keep up.

First the Native Americans protested. They even got the U.S. Patent Office to cancel the team’s trademark for their name and logo. But wait… then the team fought back. Dan Snyder, probably the most talked about sports manager, sued the Native Americans for their lawsuit.

The Native Americans fought, they almost won, but had to get back onto the battlefield. In the midst of battle, is hope. And that hope is called the Justice Department.

The Justice Department announced that it would intervene on the basis of the Lanham Act, which does not allow trademarks that may offend a group of people or cause “contempt or disrepute.” The Redskins have argued that the Lanham Act is vague and violates their First Amendment free speech rights.

“I believe strongly in the rights of all Americans to celebrate and maintain their unique cultural heritage,” said Assistant Attorney General Joyce Branda in a statement. “Going forward, we will strive to maintain the ability of the United States Patent and Trademark Office to make its own judgment on these matters, based on clear authorities established by law.”

Snyder has said that he will never change the name because he believes it honors the Native Americans. Apparently Snyder will have to manage keeping the name, while battling against the sharp sword of the Justice Department.

Photo: mdl70 via Flickr

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