The United States Patent Office just refused a patent for Redskins Hog Rinds because they do not approve the word redskin. The CBS report included this:
“In a letter dated Dec. 29, the agency wrote: “Registration is refused because the applied-for mark REDSKINS HOG RINDS consists of or includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.”
The same agency is deliberating whether to revoke the trademark protection for the NFL team, part of a long-running challenge from a group of Native Americans. A hearing was held in March, and a decision is expected soon.”
This is terrible, unconstitutional power being used by the Patent Office. It is not the concern of government to approve or disapprove of speech. Offended people can sue and risk a countersuit for filing a frivolous suit. Also, suing a company because of their use of a word that is offensive means the company can countersue for being offended by being sued. Some for the Washington Redskins.
If the word has become offensive people will not support those who use it. When football fans stop going to Redskin’s games the name would be changed. No need for government to involve themselves into a commercial issue over which they are not permitted to become involved. If free speech doesn’t protect the Redskin’s Hog Rinds trademark then the trademark office shouldn’t exist.
Or perhaps the Washington Redskins should be re-named “The Murdered Settlers”. Would that offend Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter who has been vocal against the use of Redskin?