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Patent Office cancels Washington Redskins trademarks as ‘offensive’

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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — The U.S. Patent Office has canceled trademarks belonging to the Redskins football team, saying they are offensive to Native Americans.

In a decision released Wednesday, the office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that “these registrations must be canceled because they were disparaging to Native Americans.”

The board also said it lacked the authority to prevent the team from continuing to use the trademarks.

The decision came in response to a suit brought by what the board called “five Native Americans.”

The board also canceled the registrations in 1999, but a federal judge overturned that decision in 2003, saying there was no proof that the name was disparaging at the time of registration.

Related:  Native American tribe seeks to force NFL Redskins name change

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