June 18, 2014 12:50 pm

Trademark board rules against Washington Redskins name

TMS debates: Should the Washington Redskins change their name? 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Patent Office has ruled the Washington Redskins nickname is “disparaging of Native Americans” and that the team’s federal trademarks for the name must be cancelled.

The ruling announced Wednesday comes after a campaign to change the name has gained momentum over the past year.

READ MORE: U.S. lawmakers urge NFL’s Redskins to stop using ‘offensive’ team name

The decision by the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board is similar to one it issued in 1999. That ruling was overturned in 2003 in large part on a technicality because the courts decided that the plaintiffs were too old.

The new case was launched in 2006 by a younger group of Native Americans. A hearing was held in March 2013.

Just like last time, the Redskins can retain their trademark protection during an appeal.

© The Canadian Press, 2014

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