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Redskins Lose Trademark Protection Over Nickname As Patent Office Calls It "Disparaging"
Published June 18, 2014
A LEAGUE ISSUE NOW: ESPN's Darren Rovell noted this is "probably the most substantive thing that has come along" regarding the name controversy. Rovell: "It's not a Native American group coming out with ads, it's not senators saying that they want a hearing or they want the name changed -- this is business." Rovell noted the ruling impacts not only the Redskins, but also the NFL, so this "can't really be now about Daniel Snyder and his will to not change the name." Rovell: "That could significantly put more pressure on Daniel Snyder. It's not just about him" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 6/18). ESPN's Skip Bayless said if the Redskins "start losing money from losing their trademarks, then everybody, the other 30 teams that share revenue, will lose money." The Cowboys have a separate licensing deal. Bayless: "All of the sudden, we put this in a whole different perspective because the NFL as a group will lose money because of what’s happening with the nickname.” ESPN's Stephen A. Smith: "When you have lawmakers on Capitol Hill and you have the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office now essentially officially against them, it’s the beginning steps of an ultimate change in the Redskins name” (“First Take,” ESPN, 6/18).
COULD NEW NAME RESULT IN NEW REVENUE? Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said should the Redskins change their name, a potential new revenue stream could present itself, but it "all depends on how your fan base reacts to it." Florio: "You may have a bunch of fans who never buy anything with the new name and continue to keep their old jerseys and continue to refer to the team with the old name. Who knows which way this is going to go. Maybe folks will start hoarding Redskins gear now because they think the name is going to change, so they'll see an increase in revenue. Or maybe people will stop buying it because they think there's going to be a new name soon” (“The Dan Patrick Show,” 6/18).