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Redskins victorious against gov't attempt to force the team to change its name
The Washington Redskins won their struggle to retain their trademark rights against the federal government after a recent Supreme Court decision. Image Source: YouTube screenshot.

Redskins victorious against gov't attempt to force the team to change its name

The Department of Justice has conceded their case against the Redskins football team to rescind their trademark rights. The Obama administration had sought to revoke their rights because the team name was perceived as an insult to Native Americans.

A recent ruling from the Supreme Court spelled certain doom for the case against the Washington Redskins.

In the case of Matal v. Tam, an Asian-American music band was denied a trademark right because their band name included a racial epithet. But "The Slants" band leader Simon Tam sued the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and won a unanimous decision when the case went to the Supreme Court.

The patent office claimed the band name violated their rule against trademarks that "disparage ... persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute."

The Supreme Court ruled sided with Tam, who said the intension of the name was not to insult or offend anyone.

And the Department of Justice shut down their case against the Washington Redskins in light of the Supreme Court decision.

"The Supreme Court’s decision in Matal v. Tam controls the disposition of this case," Justice Department Civil Division attorney Mark Freeman wrote. "Consistent with Tam, the Court should reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case with instructions to enter judgment in favor of Pro-Football."

Civil liberty advocates hailed the Supreme Court decision as a victory for free speech and the Constitution.

A recent poll of Native Americans by the Washington Post revealed a majority did not find the team name offensive.

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