The Washington Redskins rebranded to the Washington Football Team last year. Now, reportedly the team may have an expensive issue to resolve after receiving a refusal for trademarking their name on clothing.
Washington Football Team Rebranded Last Year
Based in the Washington metropolitan area, the Washington Football Team is an American football franchise that competes in the National Football League (NFL). Owned by Daniel Snyder the team has a long history dating back to 1932 when it carried the name Boston Braves. Back in 1937, the team changed its name to Washington Redskins.
However, last year, in light of the killing of George Floyd, which fueled the Black Lives Matter protests, the team was pressured to change its name. One of the main reasons for this was because the name Washington Redskins appeared unfair to Native Americans.
Many of the team’s prominent sponsors such as Bank of America, FedEx, and Nike saw that too and pushed the change. As a result, last year in July, the team changed its name from Washington Redskins to Washington Football Team.
USPTO Reportedly Refuses the Team’s Attempt to Trademark Name on Clothing
Now the Washington Football Team may have to deal with an expensive problem. Last week, Darren Rovell from the Action Network revealed that the team received refusal by the US Patent and Trademark Office for attempting to trademark the name on clothing.
As it turns out, a realtor named Phillip McCauley from Virginia had already filed “every name imaginable” when he was into the clothing business several years ago. Back in May 2015, McCauley received the trademarks for names similar to the team’s current name, as well as the exact name – Washington Football Club.
According to Rovell, the refusal by the US Patent and Trademark Office was pushed based on the fact that the name is geographically descriptive as well as the “likelihood of confusion with a man who successfully trademarked Washington Football Club”.
What Will the Team Do Next?
Although the Washington Football Club successfully rebranded last year, this challenge may be difficult to resolve. One way that the team may overcome this is by simply agreeing with McCauley that currently holds the trademark. However, such a move may involve a hefty investment on behalf of the owner Snyder. Whatever the case is, undoubtedly, the Washington Football Club will have to decide on this matter, considering the importance of selling team merchandise such as t-shirts, jerseys, and hats.