While NFL fans were just getting used to the name Washington Commanders, a new ruling from the United States Patent and Trademark Office could force another name change for the franchise.
After resistance for several years, soon-to-be former Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder acquiesced to the request of social activists and people of Native American heritage and went away from having the franchise called the Redskins after taking on the name decades ago.
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After a season without a specific brand, and being called the Washington Football Team, the organization went back to the past and decided to use its previous moniker, and in 2022 the Washington Commanders were born. However, as quickly as things seemed to be settled on the team’s name, it could all be changed again soon.
On Wednesday, prominent trademark attorney Josh Gerben reported that the US Patent and Trademark Office had formally denied the organization’s request to trademark the Commanders brand. The notice from the USPTO noted that it decided to deny the request due to the existence of the “Commanders’ Classic” trademark, and pending patents from a local citizen that features “Commanders” in it.
Washington Commanders first season: 2022
“Commanders’ Classic” is used to refer to the annual game between the Army and Air Force academies. Martin McCaulay, is the DC area individual who has pending patents for “Washington Space Commanders” and “Washington Wolf Commanders.” Both were done to try to snatch up potential names before the organization, and then bank a big financial return when they came calling to buy the right.
Which is what will most likely happen. However, there is also the possibility this new hurdle could force the Washington Commanders’ new owners to do what some had speculated about and change the team’s name. Separating from the last remnants of the Synder era might be a good idea, and with the name only in existence for a year, there is no built-in loyalty among fans.
Furthermore, a new brand would really put a stamp on the incoming owner’s control of the team’s future and would allow for a completely fresh start for the new team bosses.