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The Supreme Court has handed the Washington Redskins a victory in its fight against the 2014 cancellation of a number of its trademarks — by striking down a provision of a 1946 law that prohibits trademarks for disparaging certain people and groups.
The court ruled 8-0 that the 1946 Lanham Act violates the First Amendment. That law directs the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to refuse trademark registrations that denigrate “persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.” It was the basis for canceling the team’s trademark registration.
Now it appears the road is open for registering the NFL team’s trademarks, which would prohibit the creation and sale of unlicensed merchandise. The Washington Business Journal generally does not use the team name in its copy unless it is unavoidable.
Owner Daniel Snyder’s team did not bring the case that was ultimately heard at the Supreme Court ( which rejected the team’s appeal on Oct. 4, 2016). Instead, the court ruled on…
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