• Federal District Court Affirms Cancellation of “REDSKINS” Marks on Summary Judgment and Holds that First Amendment Does Not Control
  • July 16, 2015 | Author: Maurine L. Knutsson
  • Law Firm: Banner & Witcoff, Ltd. - Chicago Office
  • On July 8, 2015, the Federal District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia affirmed the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board’s cancellation of the REDSKINS federal trademark registrations owned by Pro-Football, Inc. Pro-Football Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse et al., CN: 1:14-cv-01043, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (July 8, 2015). The Court granted the defendants’ (Amanda Blackhorse, Marcus Briggs-Cloud, Phillip Gover, Jillian Pappan, Courtney Tsotigh and the United States) motions for summary judgment, holding among other things that the EDSKINS marks were disparaging to a significant composite of Native Americans between 1967 and 1990 (when the marks at issued registered), the First Amendment is not implicated by Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act, the federal trademark registration program is government speech and therefore exempt from First Amendment scrutiny, and the laches defense does not apply because of the public interest at stake.