On Wednesday, the US Patent and Trademark Office terminated six federal trademark registrations held by Washington’s pro football team. The PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ruled that the team’s name cannot be protected, because it disparages Native Americans and federal law bans the trademarking of offensive language.
The decision is a victory for Amanda Blackhorse, a 32-year-old member of the Navajo Nation who became the face of the legal fight to revoke Washington’s trademarks starting in 2006. She was leading protests of the name when the law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath asked her to become the lead of five petitioners in its case against the Washington football team.
Blackhorse spoke to Mother Jones Wednesday about the ruling, the other professional sports teams in her crosshairs, and her own run-ins with racist Washington football fans.
Mother Jones: So you must be pretty excited today, right?
Amanda Blackhorse: We started this campaign eight years ago. So yes, today, it’s pretty overwhelming, but in a good way. When you’re part of a case that takes years and years and years, you wait all this time, and now it’s finally here, it’s just a tremendous victory. Not just for the five of us who were the petitioners but for the native country as a whole.
Posted by The NON-Conformist