Washington Football Team trademark application rejected

Jan 9, 2021; Landover, Maryland, USA; General view of FedEx Field before the game between the Washington Football Team and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Football Team was denied a trademark of that name by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which found a similar trademark already exists.

The trademark is “Washington Football Club,” which was granted to Philip McCaulay of Virginia. Sensing the franchise one day would drop the controversial “Redskins” nickname it has used since 1933, McCaulay applied for trademarks to numerous names that he believed would be possibilities for the team.

The federal office denied the application for the trademark, which the team sought to use for apparel, on Friday. The official grounds were the “likelihood of confusion refusal” and “geographically descriptive refusal.” The denial said when it comes to geographic names, they are “free for all businesses operating in the same area to inform customers where their goods or services originate.”

The team can appeal by presenting evidence and arguments. They also could attempt to work with McCaulay to obtain the trademark rights.

Team owner Daniel Snyder agreed in July 2020 to strip the team of the “Redskins” name after years of protests that the name was disparaging to Native Americans. Washington Football Team was installed as a temporary name, and it will remain for the 2021 season.

It is among the list of potentially permanent names sent to season-ticket holders in April for their input. CBS Sports reported then that list included names such as Ambassadors, Belters, Defenders, First City Football Club (FCFC), Griffins, Redwolves, Rubies and Swift.

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