Pro Football v. Blackhorse (E.D.Va. 2015)
In an important trademark ruling, E.D. Virginia Judge Gerald Bruce Lee has affirmed the Trademark Trial & Appeal Board’s (TTABs) cancellation of the trademark registrations associated with the Washington Redskins professional football team. The ruling interprets Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act which permits the USPTO to refuse registration of a mark that “consists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter.” The decision is a win for the challengers on summary judgment, but Pro Football has vowed to appeal.
Meanwhile, the Federal Circuit is already posed to hear another disparaging-mark case en banc. In re Tam involves an Asian-American band attempting to register the self-deprecating mark “
Chinks” “Slants” [DC update: Oh my, I’m not used to using these pejoratives and used the wrong one here]