Keeping the Government Out of the Redskins Controversy

ESPN Washington Football Team Reporter John Keim writes about the Redskins trademark dispute:

Stay out, government: I agree with this take from The Washington Postís Sally Jenkins. If the Redskins are going to change their name, let it come from societal pressure and not from congressional action. She made it clear that sheís in favor of a name change, but also wrote: ďYou donít really want government agencies to become the arbiter of acceptable words and images. You really donít. The main reason you donít is because, like it or not, whatís offensive is subjective.Ē Totally agree. This isnít as much about them needing to take care of other issues as it is about that slippery slope. I'm not a fan of slippery slopes. [Emphasis supplied.]

This is in the best uninformed Tea Party tradition (though Kleim clearly is not a Tea Partier, he supports a name change) - a sort of "Keep The Government's Hands Off My Medicare." Did the government go out of its way to get involved in the controversy? Of course not. I'll explain on the flip.

It was the Washington football team, now owned by Dan Snyder, that decided to avail itself of the protections offered by the federal trademark law for registered marks. If you want the government to "stay out of it," then your beef is with the Washington football team, which decided to put the government in it, by registering the mark. The other parties who put "the government in it" were the petitioners for cancellation, availing themselves of the rights granted by the federal trademark laws to seek cancellation of the mark, citing to the prohibition in the law against the registration of disparaging marks.

Moreover, even if the Washington football team did not register the mark, and instead sought to establish common law trademark rights, it would need the government to declare and enforce such rights. Namely, the courts (either federal or state.)

Here's my point - Would John Galt ever register a trademark? Would he ever sue in court claiming trademark infringement? The answer is of course he would. But he'd be screaming for the government to "stay out of it" the whole time.

Finally, as an amusing aside, I had this exchange with Kleim on twitter. This was the capper from Kleim:

love hearing stuff from people who work for one-sided publications (on either side).

Yes, facts do have a liberal bias.

DISCLOSURE: I practice trademark law so I have a vested interest in the government "staying in" the trademark law business.

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    I would lose any sleep over ... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:31:40 PM EST
    ... your Twitter exchange with John Keim, BTD. And many mahalos for the enlightening post on the Washington NFL's team's patent and trademark issue.

    No doubt Keim would be singing a markedly different tune on this matter, were we talking about an NFL team named the Washington Yids.


    Maybe the NFL will force a sale???? (none / 0) (#16)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:58:14 PM EST
    The goverment has no business (none / 0) (#125)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:10:15 AM EST

    The goverment has no business making political decisions about speech content.  Every name is going to be offensive.  If "Uppity Negro" is worthy of a trademark, it is clear that the Redskins got the boot due to political pressure.

    The trademark office should treat all citizens equally and not be in the business of political favoritism.  


    You're a day late, a dollar short, and ... (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 02:29:12 PM EST
    ... perpetually enveloped in your own partisan dust cloud.

    i read ms. jenkins' piece in the wp. (5.00 / 5) (#22)
    by cpinva on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:59:49 PM EST
    please ms. Jenkins, and everyone else, spare me the the "PC" whining. politically correct = "I can no longer spew, in public, racist/misogynistic/homophobic/religious slurs, without being called out for it, like my daddy used to be able to."

    yeah, it just breaks my heart, when I see some jackass whining, about being a jackass in public, and someone has the nerve, the nerve I say, to point out that they're being a jackass in public. why, the gall of "Those" people!

    this case has been going on for over 20 years, it didn't just pop up recently, something else ms. Jenkins glossed right over. she's usually pretty good about at least getting basic facts correct, so I must assume their glaring absence was intentional, on her part.

    I've always (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 03:59:30 PM EST
    thought it was a stupid name. Who the heck names their team by a skin color? Braves is one thing. I would like Braves to Patriots.

    I liked the Bravehearts theme (none / 0) (#66)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:39:03 PM EST
    Why would an owner be this belligerent?  If you handled this right, you could create excitement AND everyone needs new team wear now.  Anybody who gets all ticked about their team wear being antiquated can bite it too, cuz now it is a collectors item.  A relic of our racist history worth money to the stupidly angered on ebay.

    Oh, i'm just (none / 0) (#71)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:14:07 PM EST
    so sick of all this whining from conservatives. They think it's find to be obnoxious and rude but if anybody calls them on it, they start screaming PC!! PC!!. What a bunch of idiots.

    So if Snyder loses his appeal (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by beefeater on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:57:32 PM EST
    What would be the outcome? Is just the word "redskins" marked or would that include the Indian head logo too.

    Will I be able to bottle a whiskey and call it

    "Redskins Firewater"

    with a logo of an Indian and feathers on the label without the annoyance of Snyder siccing some mad-dog trademark attorney on me.

    I realize I couldn't register the mark but I don't foresee much chance of infringement either.

    I can see this ruling opening up a myriad of new product ideas for the entrepreneurs among us.

    Redskins Kosher Hotdogs?

    Redskins tanning salons?

    The possibilities are endless.

    huh? (none / 0) (#104)
    by beefeater on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:51:18 PM EST
    Totally agree, BTD (4.50 / 2) (#1)
    by Zorba on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:26:11 PM EST
    If John Kleim, Sally Jenkins, et al, want the government to "stay out of it," then don't use the government patent office to register your trademark.
    Geez, how hard is this to comprehend?
    It seems as if they want the government to help protect them when it profits them, but to stay out of it when it doesn't profit them.
    One or the other, people.  You shouldn't be able to pick and choose.

    I too agree with each of you (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Green26 on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 11:56:04 PM EST
    While I generally believe the government should not be involved in things unless there is clear reason/value to be involved, there are many areas in which it is critical and important for the government to be involved and to regulate. IP law is one of them.

    As pointed out, the Washington team used the federal law to trademark the name, etc. It is almost silly to now say that the government should not be involved. The government is what gave the team its protection to exclusively have the marks.

    The PTO is not saying now that the team should change its name. It is saying the team can't protect a name that is offensive and disparaging, and should not be protected under the terms of the trademark law.  The team is not prevented from continuing to use the name; it's just that anyone can use it now (subject to the appeal).

    I generally agree that there are situations in which the government probably shouldn't be deciding what is offensive or disparaging, but in this case, the law uses that exact term disparaging and thus the PTO is required to determine what is disparaging.

    I too know a bit about this subject and case, because I was the partner who gave the final okay for our firm to proceed with the original case in 1992, and am a tribal member.


    Not sure I do agree, BTD. Help me (5.00 / 2) (#67)
    by Peter G on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:59:53 PM EST
    with this.  The Constitution confers on the federal government the power to advance the "useful arts and sciences" with a single, national system of intellectual property protection. The First Amendment, on the other hand, also bars the government from abridging the freedom of speech, which operates as a limitation on the exercise of all sorts of other, generally legitimate governmental powers. The two guarantees should be construed to coexist, rather than to contradict each other, if possible. So my reaction as a civil libertarian is to say that the trademark registration power should not imply governmental authority to deny registration to trademarks that express ideas that the government could not punish a person for expressing.  This would include racial and ethnic disparagement, along with other expressions which some (even many, myself included) find offensive.  (I would think the same would go for corporate name registration.) I don't think I want -- and question whether the First Amendment can tolerate -- any governmental agency deciding whether the names of "He'Brew" beer or Aunt Jemima pancake mix, or whatever, are "disparaging" and thus can or cannot be trademarked.

    Yes, I agree with you Peter G (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by bmaz on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:25:25 AM EST
    I think you have put it exactly right. If the govt is denying protection given to others based on the quality and/or nature of speech, then the First Amendment is involved. And, as much as I personally disapprove of this name, and wish Snyder would change it, I am not comfortable with the government agency being the arbiter here.

    Snyder does not have to change a thing (none / 0) (#92)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:32:54 AM EST
    I don't understand how this simple idea eludes the both of you.

    I have great respect for your intellect (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 12:13:43 PM EST
    and breadth and depth of knowledge, Armando.  I wish you could, in return, show a modicum of respect for those who take the time, in a serious and articulate way, to suggest a possible disagreement with you.  To respond by saying it is "simple" is unnecessarily insulting. For the reasons I laid out in my comment, I don't find the problem simple. The government could not deny the benefits of trademark registration, I am quite sure, on the basis that the applicant was Jewish, or Republican, or socialist, or Hispanic, or gay, or deaf, whether or not registration is a "privilege." Respectfully, the First Amendment question I raised is not that "simple."

    Sorry (none / 0) (#111)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:02:36 PM EST
    The issue really is that simple.

    This is not a complex or difficult case.

    I don;t know how to respectfully say I have no respect for the view you are espousing, which I find silly and ridiculous.


    If the First Amendment argument is that silly (none / 0) (#116)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:34:33 PM EST
    why has it has received support from well-respected constitutional scholars associated with both left/liberal (Chemerinsky), right/libertarian (Volokh) perspectives?

    Respected people can be silly (none / 0) (#139)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:45:36 AM EST
    Frankly I chalk it up to a real misunderstanding of the area of law here, namely trademarks.

    They simply do not understand what it intends, how it works, or it relation to the First Amendment.


    I sincerely regret your unwilllingness, (5.00 / 2) (#159)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:38:00 PM EST
    which I assume is not an inability, to explain to an interested, intelligent audience, "what [the trademark registration system] intends, how it works, or it[s] relation to the First Amendment."  I, for one -- and I assume I am not alone in this -- always appreciate the opportunity to learn something new, and particularly enjoy being shown to be wrong about something (as opposed to being told I am so "unreasonable" (or "insane") as not to be worth talking to). Particularly when I didn't even take a firm position in the first place, but only outlined an argument, and then asked (in all modesty and sincerity) for an explanation why that argument would be wrong, if it was.

    Also (none / 0) (#114)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:06:06 PM EST
    you're not really arguing that this is like denying a registration based on ethnicity etc?

     mean, that is so wrong I don;t even know how to respond.


    No, I didn't suggest the two were similar (none / 0) (#115)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:24:50 PM EST
    My point was that your argument -- which I understand to be that government power to confer trademark registration upon request obviously implies the authority to deny registration to marks that express offensive ideas that would otherwise receive First Amendment protection -- is no more obvious than a suggestion that because the registration is a privilege that one must apply for, it is one that the government can then deny on grounds that would otherwise violate equal protection.  Why do you think the trademark power subject to one limitation and not the other?

    Your argument simply does not follow (none / 0) (#138)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:44:27 AM EST
    Tomorrow, the government could abolish federal registration of any number of marks.

    NOW registration is denied to descriptive marks. Is that not content based?

    You seem to hold a special protection for OFFENSIVE speech that you do not insist for non offensive speech.

    That is the government MUS confer a benefit on offensive speech that is not provide to certain type of non offensive speech.

    I find the view absurd. I really do.


    If denial of registration (none / 0) (#161)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 04:11:02 PM EST
    to "descriptive" marks, as a category, rationally serves the purposes of the trademark registration system, then it would not violate the First Amendment so long as there is no viewpoint discrimination, it seems to me.  My point -- and again, I have said all along that this thought was tentative -- was that a prohibition on "disparaging" marks could be seen as viewpoint discrimination (barred by First Amendment doctrine, even where speech can be otherwise regulated and limited), if the system allows registration of trademarks reflecting ethnic pride or characteristics (real or presumed) that are thought to be praiseworthy. But if you view "disparagement" not as a viewpoint but as a category of offensive speech, like obscenity or expletives, that conveys nothing of value in a marketplace of ideas, and which is viewpoint neutral because all disparagement of whomever is equally barred, then I could see the counter-argument. But since I haven't heard the counterargument expressed, I just don't know.

    What do you mean by "viewpoint" (none / 0) (#163)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:09:53 PM EST
    This is the part of your analysis that baffles me.

    A trademark is not a piece of political or cultural expression.

    IT is a wor that is associated with a product or service.

    It i not even information about the product or service, because if it is, then it is descriptive, and not registrable (absent secondary meaning.)

    This is where I think the analysis you are providing and the people you have referenced, Chemerinsky, et al, simply do not have an well grounded understanding of what trademarks are and what the purpose of them is.

    They do not covey "viewpoints," they convey an association with a product or service.

    If they do convey a viewpoint of description, or if they are generic, they are not registrable.

    Think of recent commercial speech cases, where the conveyance of information has been accorded higher protection (especially since Central Hudson when the Court retreated from Virginia board of Pharmacy) - it is about protecting the right to convey information to consumers.

    Trademarks are the antithesis of that. They are expressly NOT to convey viewpoints.

    If this was a restriction on advertising, then I could see your point. It isn't. In essence, it is the opposite of that.  


    Thanks very much for that basic explanation (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by Peter G on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:19:49 PM EST
    Extremely interesting and enlightening.  Just what was missing (to me) from the initial post; frankly, even as an unusually well-educated lawyer (in most respects), I honestly had no idea about this basic concept.  I now understand your point, and can now begin to rethink the First Amendment implications.

    And so, the very reason a trademark (none / 0) (#176)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:17:16 AM EST
    is protected property of its owner is that it is not speech, because if it was speech then anyone could use it?

    It would be eligible for copyright (none / 0) (#177)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:39:12 AM EST
    Yes, excellent. (none / 0) (#178)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:57:37 AM EST
    It is because trademarks are no viewpoints (none / 0) (#164)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:14:40 PM EST
    that your analysis is completely flawed imo.

    Congress, in its wisdom, has decided to not permit the registration of disparaging marks. (or descriptive marks as discussed earlier.)

    This applies to all forms of disparagement. To the degree that you see this as restrictive of speech (which BTW, makes no sense in that a trademark registration RESTRICTS speech by OTHERS), then there is no targetted restriction, it applies to everyone.

    But it isn't speech. As I explained earlier. A trademark registration is, a trademark registration. To the degree that you think of marks s speech, then it is the registration itself that restricts speech, not the cancellation of a mark.


    Thanks for the education. (none / 0) (#166)
    by oculus on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:19:13 PM EST
    Meh (none / 0) (#93)
    by bmaz on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:37:14 AM EST
    Whether he has to change anything is irrelevant. He is being denied equal protection of laws and government based on content of speech.

    Can you lay out the basics (none / 0) (#94)
    by Green26 on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 11:30:51 AM EST
    of the equal protection argument? I don't see or understand any credible equal protection argument.

    Sure... (none / 0) (#95)
    by bmaz on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 11:41:46 AM EST
    The government offers protections to persons, whether individual or corporate, and the government denies those protections based on speech content, thus giving unequal protection based on content.

    But in fact, society standards do evolve. (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 05:38:15 PM EST
    Why shouldn't public policy at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reflect that? Should that office be either allowed or compelled to also trademark upon request such product names as "Jigaboo Joy Juice," "Polack Sausage Co." or "Krazy Kraut Instant Mashed Potatoes"?

    I see where you're going with your First Amendment argument, and I'm not dismissing it out of hand as others might. There's always a potential for us to slide down a slippery slope with regards to constitutional protections during any period of significant adjustments in public mores. But is the answer therefore to allow an obsolete legal status quo to remain in place in perpetuity?

    We should always be wary of slippery slopes for obvious reasons. But we also need to trust ourselves, and not allow our fears to peg us to a crumbling legal floor that neither underscores nor reflects the present times in which we live.

    Were we to provide that prior precedent should always and forever trump our collective common sense in legal arguments, we'd still have laws on the books under which you could potentially face 30 days in jail for allowing your cattle to stampede through the streets of San Francisco, and African Americans would still count as only 60% human in U.S. Census numbers.

    I mean, I suppose Dan Snyder's attorneys could make a cogent legal argument that trademark protection of his Washington NFL team's name can and should be considered as grandfathered by virtue of its longevity.

    But really, given that public opinion is weighing in quite significantly on the side of the Native American plaintiffs in this case, and can only get more profound as the case drags out, why would anyone in their right mind even want to offer up that argument? Dan Snyder's playing out a losing hand here.

    Not only does Snyder's obstinate public stance underscore both his tone-deafness and questionable personal morals, but it's potentially bad for the NFL's business overall, especially if matters are allowed to escalate to the point where a lot of people become so disgusted by the league's failure to do the right thing here that they won't have anything further to do with the game until the name IS changed.

    Honestly, the name "Redskins" is a racist pejorative reflecting a soon to be very bygone era in which intolerance was generally the norm, rather than the obvious exception. Its time has long since (and thankfully) past, and both that name and Dan Snyder should rightly go the way of the Frito Bandito.



    there is no class (none / 0) (#113)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:04:58 PM EST
    that is being treated unequally.

    Equal protection makes less sense than your First Amendment argument, which is really saying something, because that is a lousy argument too.


    Boy, I think I'm with BTD on this one. (none / 0) (#157)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:24:31 PM EST
    The power to bar/revoke the registration of any trademark that in the gvt's view is "immoral" "scandalous" or "disparaging," does not, in my view, abridge the freedom of speech of the trademark owner.

    No one is diminishing the right of the team to use their chosen name; they can use the name just as much with no registration and they could with registration.

    I do not see any reduction in the team's right to free speech.

    Now, would I like to see the power of the trademark office to deny/revoke registration based on some bureaucrat's opinion of what is "immoral" "scandalous" or "disparaging," be removed?



    does not confer ownership.

    iwo, to my understanding, Snyder/the team owns the trademark, both with and/or w/o the registration.


    Correct (none / 0) (#165)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:15:32 PM EST
    To the degree Snyder owns the mark, it is NOT because of registration, but because of use.

    Irrelevant? (none / 0) (#110)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:01:31 PM EST
    You gotta be kidding me.

    IT's s the most relevant issue of all.


    The government makes choices (none / 0) (#91)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:32:14 AM EST
    on conferring privilege ALL the time!

    I refer you to just one case, Bob Jones University.

    You have stretched the idea of "abridgement" beyond recognition.


    I don't think so at all. See my comment #96. (5.00 / 2) (#97)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:00:18 PM EST
    Also (for the benefit of those TL community members who don't know), Bob Jones was the case in which the Supreme Court upheld the IRS's denial of "charitable" tax-exempt status to Bob Jones University.  The basis was that BJU maintained certain racially discriminatory policies, including a ban on interracial dating (IIRC).  The Supreme Court held that a "charitable purpose" for purposes of conferring legal privileges (the concept incorporated into the Internal Revenue Code in section 501(c)(3)) could not include a purpose expressed in action that was in opposition to fundamental public policy. Whether you agree with that decision or not, and even fully accepting it as precedent, it is only precedent for the proposition that First Amendment rights (exercise of religion, speech, association) do not necessarily confer a right to discriminate against others in a public or quasi-public accommodation. It cannot be considered to be a broad precedent that would allow, for example, denial of tax-exempt status to the American Friends Service Committee, on the basis that Quaker pacifism is in opposition to the fundamental public policy of armed, militarized national defense. In the trademark "disparagement" setting, there is no act of discrimination against any person that the government is seeking to prevent, only that others might take offense at the trade name. The "right"/"privilege" distinction has not been a simple basis for solving legal dilemmas since at least 1968.  As I stated in my original comment, I do not consider it clear that you are wrong, BTD, only that there is a significant, not a trivial or frivolous, First Amendment problem lurking here.

    In case you two are interested... (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by bmaz on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 02:46:33 PM EST
    Here is my take at Emptywheel. I favor the First Amendment view, but tried to give a fair appraisal, including pertinent case cites other than Jones.

    http://www.emptywheel.net/2014/06/22/1st-amendment-and-other-concerns-on-appeal-of-redskins-decision /


    All wrong (none / 0) (#112)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:03:29 PM EST
    Not even close to right or a cogent point.

    There is an absolute misunderstanding of the relevant principle and case law.


    No, no misunderstanding (none / 0) (#123)
    by bmaz on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:09:42 PM EST
    Frankly, I think, even if it goes to SCOTUS your position probably holds. It is, after all in the dicta in the Simpson case, and it was clearly in the Fox case on merits. That said, I think there is, at root some merit to the First Amendment view and, more importantly, I think SCOTUS will, if they get it, irrespective of their final decision, be far more receptive. If I had to bet, I would bet with you, but I think the argument has good merit and is more than cognizable.

    It requires (none / 0) (#136)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:41:56 AM EST
    a reading of abridgement that is asurd. At least imo.

    I may write about to demonstratrate the reductio ad absurdum you are presenting.


    Write on my friend! (none / 0) (#171)
    by bmaz on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 04:10:30 AM EST
    It is, however, somewhat amusing that you, of all people, are usually the one saying SCOTUS does whatever it wants and bends and contorts the law to do so. If they do so here, this will likely be how they do it. I will bet dollars to donuts there are at least are at least some votes for this view on SCOTUS. Courts do weird crap I find absurd all the time, it is not exactly a new phenomenon.

    Registered trademark (none / 0) (#109)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:58:04 PM EST
    Not akin to public accommodation as constitutional matter? That's insane

    silly...ridiculous...insane (5.00 / 2) (#117)
    by Peter G on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:41:21 PM EST
    This is not my idea of intelligent counter-argument. I withdraw from the discussion.

    Peter, you thought there was (5.00 / 2) (#121)
    by Anne on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 09:41:14 PM EST
    going to be a discussion?

    That's not how it works; I don't even know why comments are enabled.


    It enabled you to say this (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by CoralGables on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:43:53 AM EST
    What - is oculus off today? (3.00 / 2) (#131)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:15:21 AM EST
    ::rolling eyes::

    Do you want more substance?  Want me to expand my thoughts?  Okay, I can do that.

    Just because I am not a lawyer does not mean I don't want to read an informed discussion, but I don't consider the kinds of responses Armando is providing to be doing anything other than serving as proof that he's not interested in what people think - unless it's for the purpose of agreeing with him.

    This is nothing new.

    So, what's the point of having a comments section if its purpose is to function as a cheerleading section or Greek Chorus?  


    Just because you think something (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 01:41:19 PM EST
    does not mean it is a reasonable thought.

    You want to pretend Peter's arguments are reasonable? go right ahead.

    Just because Peter is nice does not mean he is presenting a reasonable argument.

    I find it funny to see you become a civility cop.

    you know who has real "nice" discussions? The Sunday shows. And a bigger bag of unreasonableness would be hard to find.  


    I'm not "pretending" anything, which, if (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:11:43 PM EST
    you had bothered to read my comment, you would know.

    I don't know if Peter's arguments are reasonable - all I know is that you've rejected them out of hand - as you often do with Peter, I've noticed - and deprived the non-lawyers of the benefit of an open, expansive, educational and interesting discussion.  

    Hence my wondering why you bothered to enable comments: if your word is the last and only word, and you're not interested in addressing the questions your arguments raise, what's the point?

    Civility?  No, it's not about that at all.  



    You guys can discuss it all you want (none / 0) (#153)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 01:39:05 PM EST
    That doesn't mean it will be a REASONABLE discussion.

    A lot of people think they are having reasonable discussions when they aren't.

    Even if they are being nice and civil to each other.


    Oy (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 01:37:38 PM EST
    I'm glad  that you are more concerned about the civility than the, actual, you know, issue.

    I have no patience for that.


    The answer is simple, not in the way BTD (none / 0) (#172)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 10:41:24 AM EST
    described it.

    "Useful arts and sciences" are in no way "advanced" by the trademark in question.  What is protected is corporate parasitism and monopoly, and in this case, a brutal sport not that far removed from those Romans staged in the Flavian Amphitheatre.


    Actually, it turns out I was wrong about that (none / 0) (#179)
    by Peter G on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 12:06:36 PM EST
    also.  The "progress of Science & useful Arts" clause of the Constitution, Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 8 (which I slightly misquoted), is not the foundation of the trademark registration system, according to Supreme Court decisions from 1879 and 1881.  That clause supports the patent and copyright systems, but trademark protection is an exercise of Congress's Commerce Clause power. Art. I, sec. 8, cl. 3.  So this, in turn, tends further to support what BTD is saying.

    It was nice of BTD to finally explain... (none / 0) (#181)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 09:10:27 AM EST
    For a while I had a pretty weird picture of Trademark court battles, of Basil Rathbones battling with nothing but sarcasm and supercilious sneering, the judge basing his decision solely on the velocity and volume of their dismissiveness.

    Okay so now we have (1.00 / 1) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:25:48 PM EST
    a government agency deciding what is tasteless and what is not.

    I think I'll go after Jeff Foxworthy for using the word "redneck."

    And heaven help anyone who dares to use the word "hillbilly."

    The info on Snyder makes him sound like a jerk.

    But so are the Feds. I hope he sues and wins.

    Enough of this PC BS.

    You've stumbled on an interesting issue (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:28:52 PM EST
    But first, the govt went after nobody. Read my post.

    But the "you might be a redneck" thing, if Foxworthy tried to register as a trademark. Should it be rejected as disparaging? I think   Maybe. But I'm PC.


    It is registered (none / 0) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:31:38 PM EST
    But I think you are time barred. You're not 18 are you Jim? Heh

    18?? (none / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 09:54:52 PM EST
    In '56....

    You can toss all the legal issues you want.

    But we are loosing our freedoms not to terrorists but to whiners and complainers who are insulted daily about something.

    Tell'em to grow up.


    We are also "loosing" (5.00 / 3) (#25)
    by Peter G on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:38:13 PM EST
    our ability to spell and/or proofread.

    What is worse is (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:35:04 AM EST
    spellcheck programs that do not work on headings or title pages....Major oops can occur there.

    And, prepositions, Spellcheck messes with those:   "to" v. "too"....

    And, "two" v. "tow."   No brains for scarecrow Spellcheck.


    Thunk so??? ;-) (none / 0) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:44:01 AM EST
    You go first. (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:03:06 AM EST
    jimakaPPJ: "You can toss all the legal issues you want. But we are loosing our freedoms not to terrorists but to whiners and complainers who are insulted daily about something. Tell'em to grow up."

    You always seem to be outraged about something or someone, and you never fail to whine and complain about it whenever you're here -- just like now.

    So quite honestly, the difference between the people you like to deride as "whiners and complainers" and yourself is really nothing more than a simply matter of personal perspective.



    Hooey ... Your logic is lose ;-) (none / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:43:30 AM EST
    Watching our freedoms drift away is a different from complaining about a football team's name.

    What you want is to control the tiny details of our lives. What we eat. How much we eat... etc etc....


    Paranoia will destroy ya (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:53:15 PM EST
    Just because information about healthy eating is available everywhere we look nobody is making you eat or not eat anything, we only hope you begin TO THINK!

    Wrong (none / 0) (#57)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 02:01:22 PM EST
    Look up the thread.

    You need to help me (none / 0) (#59)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 02:07:52 PM EST
    I don't know what I'm supposed to be looking for

    What do you mean, "Hooey"? (5.00 / 2) (#61)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 03:43:14 PM EST
    You just proved my exact point, Jim. If one judged you only by what we read in 90% of your posts here at TL, he or she could easily conclude that your apparent purpose in life is to be outraged.

    What we eat. How much we eat... (none / 0) (#47)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:31:12 AM EST
    what ethnic groups we can publicly debase, denigrate, and humiliate

    "tiny details....."


    Give the guy a break (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:32:16 PM EST
    it's painful watching all your proud racist cultural traditions slip away one-by-one.

    Oh hooey (none / 0) (#53)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:28:37 PM EST
    The use of the N word was always a pejorative when used by whites. The use of "Redskin" in the context of a sports team obviously is positive.

    Unless you think a team owner names the team after losers, bad people, etc., etc.


    jimakaPPJ: "The use of 'Redskin' in the context of a sports team obviously is positive."

    ... that you'd have absolutely no problem with teams called the Atlanta Crackers (which was once the actual name of a minor league baseball team, BTW), New Jersey Wops, Milwaukee Krauts or Chicago Polacks, so long as the stadium is full.

    I think you need to get to Mr. Peabody's and Sherman's Wayback Machine ASAP, so they can get you home safe and sound. Because obviously, you've outlived your era.



    For some reason (none / 0) (#20)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:44:11 PM EST
    I got pointed to this a while back.  FBook I think

    A debt collection attorney's use of the mark "SqueezeBloodFromTurnip" in connection with debt collection practices may seem unsavory, and, perhaps, disrespectful to the debtors, who are not necessarily bad apples (pun intended).  However, this Kat doesn't think it rises to the level of immoral, deceptive or scandalous.  Rather, this Kat views the mark more as a form of marketing puffery - proclaiming to potential clients that Cook can recover assets that the debtor would otherwise have been unable to pay.  But, as the saying goes, you truly cannot squeeze blood from a turnip, try as Cook might.  As long as Cook adheres to the legal obligations of debt collectors pursuant to the US Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and applicable state laws and regulations, Cook likely will not be able to achieve a better result than another equally qualified and experienced collection attorney.

    What this Kat found more intriguing than Mr Cook's use of SqueezeBloodFromTurnip.com is that Cook has apparently secured registered trade marks in the marks Cook, Cook Collection Attorneys and Cook Legal Services .  In the US, a mark based primarily on a common surname cannot be trade marked unless it has achieved secondary meaning in the minds of consumers (think: McDonald's and Heinz).  Cook is a relatively common surname in the US.  Indeed, it is the 60th most common surname in the country.  As such, it is surprising that the USPTO allowed the Cook marks to be registered as trade marks, especially since the USPTO recently rejected an application by Mott's, arguably one of the most well-known applesauce and apple juice brands in the US.  In that case, Mott's applied for a trade mark for use in connection with baby foods, a product category in which it had not previously sold products.  Despite the high consumer recognition of the Mott's brand name in connection with apple-based products, the USPTO rejected the baby food application on the grounds that Mott's is primarily surname, and "not a rare" one.  Thus it was ineligible to be registered as a trademark in the absence of acquired distinctiveness.

    Well, Jim, Snyder probably will sue. (none / 0) (#29)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:48:29 AM EST
    jimakaPPJ: "I hope he sues and wins."

    That's what lawsuit queens do. But you might be interested to know that of all of the cases I cited above, he didn't win a single one of them.


    "Now"? (none / 0) (#36)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:13:10 AM EST
    Okay so now we have a government agency deciding what is tasteless and what is not.

    Are you under the impression that this is a "new" standard?  Or that the US Patent and Trademark Office is "new"?


    "Redskins" (none / 0) (#38)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:38:43 AM EST
    Calling someone by the color of their skin?

    How about the Whiteskins or the Blackskins or the Yellowskins?

    It is time to change the name....People and even football teams need to grow up sometime.  


    Maybe he'll drop the Washington (none / 0) (#42)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:49:42 AM EST
    now that is an embarrassment.

    And all the names you suggest do not bother me... as red neck, hill billy also do not.

    It is you and those like you who need to grow up and  quit trying to tell the rest of us what we can think ...and say except for some very defined and obvious situations.


    How about the "N" word? (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:55:03 AM EST
    Still no problem there?

    The Washington "Ns" okay with you?


    Well, it didn't take you long to (none / 0) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 10:55:44 AM EST
    play the race card.

    Typical. You see the facts and you break out the false claims..

    BTW - Do you still beat your wife??


    That's very noble of you, Jim (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 11:48:16 AM EST
    that you don't mind being called names you don't find offensive.

    Then, not to be a hypocrite, you'd laugh along with everyone else if your new TL Moniker went something like, "Jim, Jerk-off." Right?

    I seem to remember a while back when another commenter here greeted you with something like "Hey there, Jimmy." Now you may be 70 something years old, but, you sure jumped like a spring chicken at that greeting.

    You see, what you, and, a lot of other folks, unfortunately, don't get is that you don't get to decide what's offensive. The person, or, people you're denigrating get to make that decision.

    Why is that so hard to understand?



    Double hooey (none / 0) (#55)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:56:15 PM EST
    This is about a tiny minority wanting to tell the rest of us what to say, eat, drink, smoke, think.

    Where does it stop?? The government has obviously intervened in this instance. What's next??

    RAEFORD -- A preschooler at West Hoke Elementary School ate three chicken nuggets for lunch Jan. 30 because the school told her the lunch her mother packed was not nutritious.

    The girl's turkey and cheese sandwich, banana, potato chips, and apple juice did not meet U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines, according to the interpretation of the person who was inspecting all lunch boxes in the More at Four classroom that day.

    The Division of Child Development and Early Education at the Department of Health and Human Services requires all lunches served in pre-kindergarten programs -- including in-home day care centers -- to meet USDA guidelines. That means lunches must consist of one serving of meat, one serving of milk, one serving of grain, and two servings of fruit or vegetables, even if the lunches are brought from home.

    If the government can tell you what to feed your child they can tell the child what to think...and you.

    And yes, I do not appreciate the use of the diminutive with my name.

    And if a NA objects to be called his PERSONAL name in such a manner, I will agree.

    And I am not calling for the person, Anne I think, to give up their personal possessions.

    Your apples and oranges comparison falls apart.


    No, it is a legitimate question (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:05:06 PM EST
    If you do find the "N" word offensive, then there are pc conventions you would observe.

    For many "redskin" is akin to the "n" word.   It is classifying people by the color of their skin.


    I doesn't matter.. (5.00 / 3) (#50)
    by jondee on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:22:55 PM EST
    if gives him an opportunity to repeat something he heard on talk radio about hyper-sensitive special interest groups and politically correct speech.

    Given my previous (none / 0) (#56)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:59:29 PM EST
    comments in favor of gay rights, including marriage, minority rights, women's right to chose.....

    And knowing that you know the above.

    All you are doing is playing the race card most ineptly.


    It is okay to use (none / 0) (#69)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:17:23 PM EST
    disparaging terms about Native Americans but not African Americans?

    It is (none / 0) (#72)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:15:47 PM EST
    but to most southerners it's okay to use them all. There are names for Asians and Hispanics too.

    So Southernors know (none / 0) (#74)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:49:10 PM EST
    not to use the "N" word but other ethnic slurs are just fine?

    No (none / 0) (#81)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:29:28 AM EST
    actually my point was there are a lot of them that use the N word.

    Okay (none / 0) (#85)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:35:52 AM EST
    And rappers (none / 0) (#80)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:17:18 AM EST
    Redskin is not a perjorative (none / 0) (#98)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:14:32 PM EST
    It is a word that can be modified by adding "nasty" in front of it or "friendly" or "mean" or "nice" or many other variations.

    In the context of a sports team its obvious meaning is that they are victorious, strong, good, etc.

    I repeat.

    This is just an attempt by the Left to gain more control over us by demonstrating they can destroy anyone who won't bow down and do as they are told.


    "The race card" (none / 0) (#182)
    by jondee on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 11:27:21 AM EST
    from a tea-bagging cretin who has a picture of Obama with a bone in his nose on his blog.

    Wait (none / 0) (#184)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:28:51 PM EST
    He has a blog?

    I think there are too many (none / 0) (#58)
    by NYShooter on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 02:07:06 PM EST
    variables to offensive terms to make clear-cut analogies. I know it's an improbable (impossible?) stretch, but, taken to the extreme I suppose there might be some A.A's that wouldn't find the "N" word offensive, but, would find the word, "Redskins," to be so.

    Again, the only test as to what terms are offensive (and, I don't mean Constitutionally, from a first amendment point of view) is if a majority, or, a substantial plurality, of that group find it to be so.

    Regardless of the criteria used, only the recipient of the pejorative gets to make that determination.


    shooter (none / 0) (#99)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:21:35 PM EST
    I see that you want to further divide us...

    Oh well, "out of many, one" is just so old fashioned.


    Heh..... J.O. Jim (none / 0) (#183)
    by desertswine on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:24:41 PM EST
    It's not about... (none / 0) (#76)
    by unitron on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:30:34 AM EST
    ...classifying people according to skin color, it's about after having done so denouncing one or more of the resultant perceived groups as inferior.

    White people call white people white people, but don't usually intend it as an insult or slur.


    I do not agree (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 02:38:03 AM EST
    I rarely hear whites refer to other caucasians as whites....They refer to other whites in other terms, e.g., tall, short, skinny, fat, rich, ugly, blonde, etc.  I have not heard someone white say, "heh, I just met another white person."

    It never fails, though, that Republicans keep score of the number of ethnic minorities they interact with.   I have had the experience more than once of a Republican remark to me that we were the only "white" people in the room.  In LA we do have diversity.  When I have heard that, it has taken me by surprise as I was not keeping score (and some do not count me as white anyway.)   I do confess to categorizing people in the same room where I was only one of two whites, but not by race.....but by perceived education, smarts, status....That distinguished older gentleman struck me as powerful and rich but I guess he was Asian too.

    Sarah Palin purportedly said she hated going to college in Hawaii because there were so many Asians there.  Republicans keep score.  


    Or ask a white person to (none / 0) (#79)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 02:48:31 AM EST
    describe the physical characteristics of another white person and they will generally not say the person is white.....You'll get comments like pretty, handsome, ugly, fat, tall, etc.....

    It is assumed the person being described is white.  

    Now, on other hand, ask a Republican to physically describe a minority, and the first and usually only thing they will say is the person is Black, Latino, Asian etc.

    After I saw a photo of Armando here, I said he looked "slow" to me, a 5.2 40 yard dash time to me.  He did correct me on that one.

    But, lordy, Republicans are so awkward around someone who is not white....All they can think about is that the person is Latino, Asian, etc.  So, yes, I think there are a lot of racist Republicans.  The ones who keep score may not have a burning hatred of "the other" but they do stigmatize by race...which is racism.


    So if a black person (none / 0) (#83)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:36:43 AM EST
    describes a Latino as Latino or an Asian as Asian or a white as a white and that is the first and only thing they say to describe that person, are they racist?
      Lordy,  I have seen blacks being awkward around someone who is not black.. All they can think about is that person is white, etc.  So there must be a lot of racist blacks correct?

    Racism comes in many flavors (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:38:44 AM EST
    It is not confined to planting a burning cross on someone's lawn.

    That's true. (none / 0) (#167)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:19:53 PM EST
    Sometimes, racists simply crawl out from under the bridge where they've been squatting.

    And you know what? (none / 0) (#87)
    by MKS on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:40:31 AM EST
    Democrats who are white do not keep score the way the Republicans do.....

    You are and (none / 0) (#89)
    by Wile ECoyote on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:23:18 AM EST
    you didn't answer the question.  

    So if a black person describes a Latino as Latino or an Asian as Asian or a white as a white and that is the first and only thing they say to describe that person, are they racist?


    Sometimes, but also sometimes not. (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 01:19:24 AM EST
    Wile ECoyote: "So if a black person describes a Latino as Latino or an Asian as Asian or a white as a white and that is the first and only thing they say to describe that person, are they racist?"

    Racial, ethnic and tribal awareness has long been an integral part of our human nature. Homo sapiens are social creatures with a strong pack mentality. Our capacity / ability to readily identify physio-cultural differences amongst our fellow humans has evolved over the millennia as a key component of mankind's innate defense and survival mechanisms, so that we as individuals might be better able to identify and respond to potential outside threats to ourselves, our clans and families, and our offspring.

    Speaking for myself only, I believe that in an assimilated and evolving multicultural society like ours, such racial awareness and ethnic / tribal identification crosses the line into outright bigotry when it becomes a purposeful means to promote and inspire a false sense of moral superiority among ourselves and thus deny another's humanity, to the detriment and / or exclusion of a specific socio-demographic subset of our greater population.

    Open expressions of bigotry and contempt by the majority against a minority -- or in the case of South Africa, by a well-organized and powerful minority against a disorganized and divided majority -- are by nature acts of aggression and oppression.

    Conversely, ethnic awareness by members of a minority subset. as a means of protecting both one own self and one's people, are generally not classified as aggressive or oppressive, even if such identification sometimes involves the use of violence and pejoratives. Rather, it is defensive.

    But the bottom line is that people in general are actually capable of a great many things, both good and otherwise, if and when they see themselves as threatened, besieged or oppressed.



    I wonder how much that actually happens (none / 0) (#129)
    by MKS on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:53:02 AM EST
    I can tell you the "We were the only white people" comment comes from Republicans....not Democrats.  

    Think or say whatever you want (5.00 / 4) (#45)
    by Yman on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 09:28:07 AM EST
    Just don't expect government approval for a trademark, or a license plate, etc.

    And don't expect others to refrain from exercising their own speech in response, as you usually do with false cries of "Censorship!"


    If they could just figure out how to get (none / 0) (#2)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:33:52 PM EST
    "Keep the government out of everything except when it benefits me or I need their assistance to oppress or exploit some minority"

    On a bumper sticker

    LOL! (none / 0) (#4)
    by Zorba on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:49:36 PM EST
    Exactly!   ;-)

    No problem at all... (none / 0) (#3)
    by kdog on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 03:34:08 PM EST
    with the trademark decision.  If Congress passed a law stating the team must change the name, that would be a different story of government overreach that I could not support for slippery slope/free speech reasons.

    What really needs to happen is for Goodell to grow a pair like Adam Silver and tell Snyder he has to change the name to protect the brand, enough is enough.

    Speech is speech (none / 0) (#54)
    by bmaz on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:40:50 PM EST
    Why in the world is it different - and somehow worse - for Congress to impinge on this speech than it is for an unelected small governmental agency office to do so? That makes no sense at all.

    It is either speech that should not be impinged on by the government, or it is not.


    Speech that the government (5.00 / 1) (#68)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 06:15:42 PM EST
    commercially protects with a mark, as opposed to speech that the government prohibits.

    Nothing in this ruling impinges on Snyder's (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by caseyOR on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:44:48 PM EST
    1st amendment rights. He remains free to call his football team whatever he wants. What he no longer has is a government agency ruling that makes him the only one who can use this word commercially.

    This reminds me of all the comments about the 1st amendment that invariably surface when someone uses racist, sexist, obnoxious language in the public sphere, say on a radio or TV show, and as a result, finds her/him self facing a boycott. No one's 1st amendment rights are impinged because others disagree with, object to what they said or choose to distance themselves from such remarks.

    Dan Snyder is free to stand his ground and cling to the current team name for as long as he wants. Nothing this "unelected small governmental agency office" did changes that.


    Baloney (none / 0) (#88)
    by bmaz on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:22:11 AM EST
    If the govt is denying protection given to others based on the quality and/or nature of speech, then the First Amendment is involved. And that is exactly what is going on here.

    I look at this way.... (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by kdog on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:43:22 AM EST
    the government is not prohibiting speech...they are prohibiting the exclusive right of an entity from making money off of bigotry.  We're all still free to be bigots.  They won't let you trademark a swastika either, though you have every right to sell t-shirts with a swastika on 'em.  

    In horse racing, the governing body doesn't let an owner name a horse "Fast Motherf*cker"...nobody considers that a free speech violation.


    Despite googling, no info as to when the trademark (none / 0) (#5)
    by oculus on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:02:35 PM EST
    applied for.  There was an earlier appeal, which the owner won. Is there a statute of limitations?

    This help (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:06:49 PM EST
    In 1992, activist Suzan Harjo led seven Native Americans in petitioning the TTAB to cancel six trademark registrations owned by Pro-Football, Inc., the corporate entity that operates the Washington Redskins. The TTAB granted the petition, and the owner appealed to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, which overturned the cancellation on two grounds. The District Court found that the TTAB lacked substantial evidence to find disparagement, and since the Redskins had registered their marks as early as 1967, the petition was barred by laches - an equitable legal theory which prohibits a party from waiting so long to file a claim that it becomes unfair to the other party.

    Different petioners (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:07:09 PM EST
    SoL not an issue.

    Different and younger petitioners this time (none / 0) (#35)
    by Green26 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:55:27 AM EST
    The court, using laches (whatever that is, I should have paid more attention in law school), said the prior petitioners waited too long to bring the action to invalidate. The PTO decision was essentially overruled on a technicality. The petitioners this time are all young, which is intended to take away the "waited too long" argument.

    The climate and mood of the country has changed since the first court ruling, so I would think a court would probably be more inclined to support the PTO's view. Of course, as always, the particular judge or panel of judges will be important.

    I believe there is more data this time, to support the petitioners arguments too.


    you will see that her point is based on more than just the fed's actions re: their trademark, it is also based on:
    It came after months of various Feds leaning on the team in ways that make it hard to feel a sense of victory.

    Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) has threatened to examine the NFL's tax-exempt status.

    The Federal Communications Commission has threatened to bring a criminal charge against the club for "indecency.

    Funny she wrote the article (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:13:28 PM EST
    after the TTAB decision.

    Funny she references a gov't agency deciding what is disparaging.

    Sorry, your defense of Jenkins fails. She is a long time hack See her on  Armstrong, Lance.


    Well, it would (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:55:46 PM EST
    only be right for Dan Snyder to now re-name the team the "Red Faces," in recognition of Jenkins embarrassing argument.  And, the new name would keep a residual inference of disparagement in keeping with the owner's apparent lack of sensitivity.  

    ... Donald Sterling on the Potomac, as it were. Since they were first purchased by Snyder in May 1999, the Washington NFL team has had an overall W/L record of 104-136, and Snyder's chewed through eight head coaches in 14 years.

    Snyder is also a lawsuit queen. He sued the National Park Service to cut down trees on federal park land which he contended obstructed his view of the Potomac River from his Maryland estate. Then when he lost the case, he went ahead and cut them down anyway, and for good measure, ruined the career of the NPS ranger who opposed him.

    Snyder also sued 125 season ticket holders who asked to be released from their multi-year contracts during the recent Great Recession, even though he had once boasted that there were close to 250,000 persons on the waiting list for those tickets.

    And he sued The Washington City Paper for libel in 2011, after it published "The Cranky [Washington NFL team] Fan's Guide to Dan Snyder," which meticulously documented his various follies since become team owner.

    The guy's a world class jerk.


    Is that anything like... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:00:29 PM EST
    ...Tiger Beat on the Potomac?

    Not really. (none / 0) (#32)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:25:44 AM EST
    But Mike Allen of "Tiger Beat on the Potomac" kinda likes Dan Snyder, don'tcha think?

    "DAN SNYDER, the beloved Washington Redskins owner, will host Mitt Romney at an upcoming fundraiser at Snyder's mansion in Potomac, Md." (Emphasis is mine.)



    Oh, no! (none / 0) (#33)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:35:36 AM EST
    I accidentally mentioned the name of the team whose name I promised to never again mention until they change it.

    Oh, well, I suppose that I should accept my failing with quiet dignity and grace ...


    Well, technically.... (none / 0) (#77)
    by unitron on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:39:32 AM EST
    ...what you did was accurately quote someone else's use of the term.

    You think I am defending her? (none / 0) (#10)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:44:17 PM EST
    You spend too much time in adversarial lawyering, I think.

    I added info to the convo; what she wrote.

    Unless you didn't want to discuss anything more than the trademark part of what she wrote, in which case I retract the info I provided.

    I have no idea she wrote about Armstrong, Lance. If it was anything different than "He did it, as did just about everyone else. He got caught for it, tough noogies." I probably won't find her opinion very compelling.


    It was way different (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 04:55:22 PM EST
    Sorry for misunderstanding your point.

    No worries, thanks. (none / 0) (#13)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 05:07:18 PM EST
    Gotta admit, that the federal government, (none / 0) (#173)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 10:52:28 AM EST
    which routinely commits the most egregious violence in the name of protecting a lifestyle, particularly the lifestyle of the rich who control federal policy, charging anyone or anything with indecency is ironic beyond even my already well exercised sense of irony.

    As entertained as I am... (none / 0) (#24)
    by unitron on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:06:40 PM EST
    ...by the suggestion that they keep the name and change to logo to actual redskin potatoes, I like my idea better.

    I think team names should reflect and stay with the franchise community (regardless of to where the team sneaks off in the middle of the night), but apparently the only way to achieve the latter is to pick one no one else would want, so I give you...


    How about (none / 0) (#26)
    by CaptHowdy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:45:27 PM EST
    Excellent (none / 0) (#28)
    by unitron on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 12:35:42 AM EST
    I still like my idea better, but congrats. Quite witty.

    I'd dispense with "Washington" ... (none / 0) (#31)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 01:11:31 AM EST
    ... and call them the "D.C. Comics."

    That name is taken ;) (none / 0) (#34)
    by nycstray on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 03:19:42 AM EST
    Sounds good to me (none / 0) (#39)
    by MKS on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:42:24 AM EST
    but I am a Cowboys fan.

    You're a Cowboys fan? (none / 0) (#75)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 12:08:35 AM EST
    My sincere condolences, and thanks for setting me up for an epic riff.

    Cowboy QB Tony Romo is the NFL's Mr. October, the ultimate frontrunner who starts strong and puts up big numbers early, but always -- and I mean always -- fades late. Thanks to him, I'm sure Cowboy fans have probably come to loath December more than Dr. Seuss's The Grinch does.

    Romo's been in the NFL for 10 years now, and quite honestly, I don't think I've ever before seen an otherwise decent quarterback who chokes so consistently in the clutch during a big must-win game, with both his team's fortunes and the entire season on the line.

    Even in that one single playoff game he's played in during his entire career, Romo fumbled the snap from center on what could've been the winning chip-shot field goal in that contest's waning seconds, and thus sealed the Cowboys' doom. Other star players get bobblehead likenesses of themselves. Romo's should instead be a bobbled hold.

    Peyton Manning has nothing on Tony Romo. At least Manning makes it to the playoffs and the occasional Super Bowl, and has even won one of them. Romo is the ultimate choke artist.

    Jerry Jones keeps firing Cowboy coaches, but it's really Tony Romo who needs to be sent packing.

    I suppose it's possible that I'm being to hard on the guy, and that he could finally pull it together and win a game that actually matters and take the Cowboys to the Super Bowl. But let's put it this way -- I sure wouldn't bet the farm on it.

    Aloha. ;-D


    Thanks Donald (none / 0) (#100)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:24:43 PM EST
    Just what we needed, a epistle on the Cowboys.

    You're in touch so we're in touch.



    I was an L.A. Rams fan while growing up, ... (none / 0) (#107)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 05:47:14 PM EST
    ... so it naturally follows that I never liked the Cowboys. I did, however, always have nothing but the utmost in respect for their late longtime coach, Tom Landry. The man was a true master at his craft during his era.

    I bet you're (none / 0) (#43)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 08:50:56 AM EST
    a soccer fan!



    Hey, I'm 1/16th Iroquois and (none / 0) (#60)
    by fishcamp on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 03:40:03 PM EST
    I don't mind the name Redskins.  If I were one step closer to the tee pee I could start a casino.  

    Most dictionary definitions of the term (none / 0) (#64)
    by Green26 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:01:13 PM EST
    define it an offensive term for Indians.

    It really doesn't matter what you think, and judging by what you just said, you obviously don't understand the term or the issue, and really wouldn't be considered Native American (even if what you said about your 1/16 is true). Ignorant comment by you, in my view.


    Offense is a very personal thing (none / 0) (#65)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 04:08:18 PM EST
    It doesn't really matter if you are or not.  Others are.

    For the record I am something close to a quarter Cherokee.   I have it on both my mother and fathers side.


    Were you raised in touch with (none / 0) (#82)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 06:48:18 AM EST
    Your Iroquois culture, beliefs, traditions though?  Do you commune with other family members specifically through your Iroquois family tree branch? That's the difference, we don't really identify with being Native American, it's just a tiny novelty factoid in our lives.

    One of my great grandmothers (none / 0) (#101)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:36:41 PM EST
    gave me Indian Blood

    So no, we were too busy trying to live and be successful in the society around us to worry over lost battles.


    What a tale :) (none / 0) (#102)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:42:36 PM EST
    So you believe that we choose our voting allegiances based on the ethnicities we identify with?  How very interesting Jim :). I would have never guessed that about you :)

    I can only guess at why my (none / 0) (#103)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 01:49:09 PM EST
    Great great grandmother did not want her children raised observing any Native American customs, beliefs, traditions.  All I know is she specifically wanted all her progeny raised white.  I am left wondering what she even meant by that and why.  She got her wish though.  It is simply a much easier life in this country to "be white", it isn't like she was going to get a big fight out of anyone :)

    As a child of share croppers (none / 0) (#108)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 07:41:39 PM EST
    I understand discrimination up close and personal, but nothing like blacks and/or NA's.

    But the fact remains.

    You wanna be successful and have a slice of the pie... don't whine and worry over something as trivial as a football team's name.

    As my ex Japanese employers would say... "You are not a serious person."


    By your standards (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 10:00:40 PM EST
    Isn't the guy having a fit about keeping his gross nasty racist team name also a whiner? I mean you said it, a team name is a trivial thing :). One that will tarnish him in history forever :).  All this crying and gnashing of teeth over a trivial thing that will in the end ruin his reputation with many many...

    Nope (none / 0) (#132)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:15:22 AM EST
    The facts are that the PC Left, and that's you, want to control our everyday life.

    You show it in everything you say, write and do.

    The name is not, despite what you falsely claim, a pejorative, as I have pointed out three times in this thread.

    As for the owner. He may be an ass. But if we don't protect people like him from people like you we will soon have a "Speech commission" trying us and jailing us for saying anything they judge bad.

    Tracy, everything your husband is fighting for is summed up in one word. Freedom.

    Yet you can't wait to throw it away.

    Sad. Very sad.


    I must have missed your appointment (none / 0) (#141)
    by Anne on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:57:32 AM EST
    as He-Who-Decides-What-Is-Offensive; seems like it would have garnered some headlines, so I have to conclude that, once again, the ground on which you stand to make these pronouncements is still at the same level as everyone else's.

    Here's a question for you, jim: what is it that you want society to stand for, to represent?  Is it to stand for respect for people's race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age?  And what role should business in general play in that?  Does the NFL have any interest in fostering that kind of respect?  I mean, is that too much to ask?

    Apparently so.  Daniel Snyder may be a world-class jerk, but Roger Goodell gets a lot of the blame for this, in my opinion.

    And how do you balance the need for respect with respect for freedom of expression?  Does a business have the same protections individuals do?    

    It may well be that First Amendment issues will permit Daniel Snyder to prevail, but many of us who find the team's name offensive can and are able to appreciate and support principle over populism.  

    If only I felt like you ever invoked the concept of "freedom" to reflect your desire to honor and support the elements of basic human dignity and equality, instead of to mourn the difficulty in being able to foster and perpetuate those elements that demean and devalue people.


    You know anne, I have answered this (none / 0) (#145)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:33:53 AM EST
    question time and again.

    Here's a question for you, jim: what is it that you want society to stand for, to represent?

    But I will try and do it again.

    I don't want society to "stand for" anything. Because that portends a control that I, as a social liberal, reject.

    I want a society that gives equal treatment and equal opportunity to all. That means that gays have the same rights as everyone else. Women have the right to control their bodies. People can express their selves in anyway they choose subject to the control of law suits for libel and slander.

    I don't want a society in which the government decides what a school child's lunch should be. I don't want a government that says it is okay to sit at a bar consuming one poison, alcohol, while forbidding the use of another, tobacco. I don't want a central government that sets standards and guidelines on what and how our children are taught.

    I want a society in which people's religious freedom's are not impacted, even if it is obvious that it is in their best PHYSICAL interest.

    I want a society in which a person can make private dumb statements and no one can broadcast them without penalty. And I want that society to find it wrong for his associates to try and take away his property while applauding people's right to not spend money on his team.

    And the same can be said for the name an owner chooses for his team.

    I want a society in which everyone has healthcare. And I want everyone in that society to pay for it by a national tax because given the cost it is unfair for some to be burdened almost into the poorhouse while they pay taxes so others can be subsidized.

    And I especially want a society in which our children's minds are not polluted by the teachings of cadre of educators who want only to destroy and change what we have done.

    I could go on but that should give you an idea.

    I leave you with what I have said before.

    The Left and the Right are the same. Just on opposite sides of the same coin. The shame is that the middle is getting narrower and narrower.


    Yer killin me (none / 0) (#146)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:34:12 AM EST
    Everything my husband is fighting for?  He has been in two wars, not wounded but shot at.  Sadly shot at by his own troops once :). He is the biggest gun control advocate you have ever seen Jim.  And he is an Independent.  He is far more visceral about sensible gun control than I will ever be.  He believes the people of his country should to be free to not be murdered by people who feel slightly frightened at the drop of a skittle.

    Be very careful thinking you possess the full definition of freedom.  Be careful about thinking you understand any soldier's concept of it too.  After all, many of them survived Iraq where every household owns an AK-47 and many of them returned home thinking that wasn't such a great thing.  And look at Iraq now, a country where too many believe violence solves problems.  I would like for the people of my nation to challenge themselves in developing problem solving skills a little more than that.


    MT, I didn't comment on your husband's (none / 0) (#147)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:43:44 AM EST
    politics. So you protest way too much. But "...be free to not be murdered by people who feel slightly frightened at the drop of a skittle." is just another justification for confiscation and a huge overstatement and personal snark on what you (he?) sees as political opponents.

    And yes, if you are invading a country you don't want every house to have a gun.

    Many police feel that way.

    So both positions are understandable but wrong when applied to the US.


    When you pulled my husband fighting (none / 0) (#148)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:03:42 AM EST
    For what your definition of freedom is out of your backside, all I did was let you know that you have no idea what definitions of freedom my husband fights for.  You have no right to ascribe his efforts to your specific definitions, only that he hopes to preserve your right to make and state your case.  And that's it

    Hooey (none / 0) (#149)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:32:39 AM EST
    You are always using what you say your husband is doing or believes, etc.

    Those are your words. Or his. Or both.



    You are the one (none / 0) (#151)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 12:54:12 PM EST
    Who professed to know what my husband serves for.  I would think I know much better than you. Did you see Paul Rieckoff  on Bill Maher this past weekend?  He addressed the inaccuracies of the myths that swirl around how the military votes and what the soldiers believe and believe in.  It is quite varied these days.  Organizations like IAVA take true non-partisan stances because they must in order to serve this generation of soldiers, VoteVets same, Mikey Weinstein's organization addressing religious freedom in uniform alongside the freedom from the religion of others is working full time too.  Military families in the survey on whether to lift DADT voted in favor of lifting it.  I don't think you know much about the military of this generation.  We are also once again back to maybe 2 out of 10 applicants making to cut to even join.  This is a Bill Clintons military, his vision...a more educated military.  Nope, I don't think you understand much about the military of THIS day.

    Well excuse me for thinking that he was (none / 0) (#158)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 03:34:59 PM EST
    serving to protect freedom.

    Clinton's military?

    yuck yuck yuck


    It's true (none / 0) (#169)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 07:43:40 PM EST
    Clinton IS the President who wanted an educated military

    Hooey (none / 0) (#150)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 11:32:39 AM EST
    You are always using what you say your husband is doing or believes, etc.

    Those are your words. Or his. Or both.



    My maternal grandfather (none / 0) (#128)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:53:02 AM EST
    Was the same.  Very hostile to the idea of being identified as anything but white.  Totally rejected all traditions of his Cherokee father.   There's was less hostility on my mothers side but they wrer no less eager to be identified as white.  I suspect our location had a lot to do with it.  

    Btw the only thing I have ever been (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 08:55:11 AM EST
    Hostile to is being identified as "a serious person"

    Don't worry, Capt! (none / 0) (#133)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:16:06 AM EST
    That ain't gonna happen.



    Given that the Cherokee's (none / 0) (#134)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:19:57 AM EST
    had slaves it is good he did it.

    BTW - This idea that the NA's were all sweet and good living in love with each other and the environment is a total lie.


    Jim, I searched, and, searched, and, searched (5.00 / 3) (#135)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:38:02 AM EST
    and couldn't find the post where someone stated,

    "This idea that the NA's were all sweet and good living in love with each other and the environment"

    I think if you're going to attack a comment there should, actually, be a comment there to attack.

    So, I looked up the definition of, "Srawman." Study it well, Jim. Maybe you won't keep making the same mistake over, and, over again:

    "The Straw Man fallacy is committed when a person simply ignores a person's actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version ..."



    He is just trying to provoke me (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:44:10 AM EST
    To respond to his idiotic blather.   Which won't happen.  If trolls aren't fed they die.  Actually I enjoy his increasingly desperate attempts to engage.  

    Actually even more funny (none / 0) (#140)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:57:07 AM EST
    Since my grandfather had absolutely no problem with the fact that his white ancestors really did have slaves

    The point was that the (none / 0) (#144)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:06:51 AM EST
    Cherokee's had slaves.

    BTW - Does your comment mean you aren't gonna send "farts" to me??



    Uh shooter (none / 0) (#143)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:05:17 AM EST
    It's called a "comment."

    You know, something someone writes. In this case it was a reflection on the Left's years old theme of the "poor Indian" and the "evil white man."

    It can be distinguished from "replies" by the lack of a definitive statement, such as:

    "You wrote."

    Hope this helps.


    Yes, yes, it does, Jim (none / 0) (#162)
    by NYShooter on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:05:48 PM EST
    You see, that was great. You made a "comment" and, I responded to it. You made your point, and, I got to counter it.

    No, outbursts, no vitriol, and, no busted spleens.

    been nice chatting with you, Jim.

    BTW, looking forward to the Titan's season this Fall. I think we may have a shot at the playoffs finally.

    Anyway, catch ya later.


    Sorry I spoke about this (none / 0) (#84)
    by fishcamp on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:17:29 AM EST
    and I will stick with fishing and hurricane information from now on.

    Ever hear of corbina? (none / 0) (#118)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:51:59 PM EST
    I've been trying to sight-fish them on the fly out in in SoCal, not having much luck.

    I hung out at the Islamorada Fish Company (none / 0) (#119)
    by CoralGables on Sun Jun 22, 2014 at 08:52:08 PM EST
    last Sunday enjoying watching the tarpon cruising around before heading off to Gilbert's for rum runners. Trying to inspire myself to run the Keys 50 next year (still not feeling it)

    are done.

    Too much time to train, so much training causes to many nagging injuries, from now on I think I'll stick with 5K - 1/2 marathons.


    This was a great post (none / 0) (#142)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 10:04:23 AM EST
    And a very interesting thread.  Funny how something as simple as what's in a name can reveal so much.

    "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a commonly quoted part of a dialogue in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter, only what things "are".

    Clearly Juliet was wrong.

    To paraphrase BTD in this thread, ... (none / 0) (#168)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 05:24:43 PM EST
    ... Juliet's argument is irrelevant and insane.



    Nonsense. Juliet was describing an issue (none / 0) (#174)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:01:54 AM EST
    philosophers have wrestled with as long as there has beat a human heart.

    And if you want a more earthbound example, I submit the name, "Patriot Act."


    Clean Air Act? (none / 0) (#175)
    by CaptHowdy on Tue Jun 24, 2014 at 11:08:51 AM EST
    It was sort of a joke

    nonsense not a response to you, Captain (none / 0) (#180)
    by Mr Natural on Wed Jun 25, 2014 at 08:58:47 AM EST