Redskins to appeal trademark decision

The Washington Redskins vowed to appeal a ruling Wednesday that found the Redskins trademark should be cancelled because it is disparaging to Native Americans. 

A lawyer for the Redskins said the team is confident it will win on appeal, as it did in 2003 when a judge overturned the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s previous ruling. 

"“We’ve seen this story before,” lawyer Bob Raskopf said in a statement.  “And just like last time, today’s ruling will have no effect at all on the team’s ownership of and right to use the Redskins name and logo."  [READ RASKOPF STATEMENT.]

Raskopf highlighted headlines from 1999 after the board first attempted to cancel the trademarks and another from 2003 when a court overruled the decision. 

"The evidence in the current claim is virtually identical to the evidence a federal judge decided was insufficient more than ten years ago," he continued. "We expect the same ultimate outcome here."

He quoted from a dissenting opinion in the ruling Wednesday from board member Marc Bergsman, who said the petitioners failed to mount a substantive case. 

"It is astounding that the petitioners did not submit any evidence regarding the Native American population during the relevant time frame, nor did they introduce any evidence or argument as to what comprises a substantial composite of that population thereby leaving it to the majority to make petitioner’s case have some semblance of meaning," Bergsman said in the dissenting opinion. 

The Trial and Appeal Board's ruling Wednesday allows the trademarks to stay in effect until the court review. If the cancellation goes into effect, the team would lose ownership of the symbol, meaning it could not block the "importation of infringing or counterfeit foreign goods." [READ THE RULING.]

The team has one of two avenues to contest the ruling, either through an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or it could take civil action in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, which has jurisdiction. 

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