Raleigh, N.C. Smith Anderson Attorney Kelli Ovies was recently interviewed on 99.9FM The Fan, where she discussed the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia’s order in Pro-Football, Inc. v. Amanda Blackhorse et al., No.1:14-cv-01043-GBL-IDD (E.D. Va. July 8, 2015).
In the decision, District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee affirmed last year’s decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ordering cancellation of the federal registrations for six marks - five of which contain or consist solely of the word REDSKINS - for football entertainment services, on the ground of disparagement under Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act. The decision does not require the Washington Redskins football team to change its name, but it does cancel the federal registrations of the “Redskins” mark.
Ovies said in the interview, “When a trademark registration is cancelled, that does not mean that a party can’t continue to use its trademark. The Judge was very clear in explaining that, that this is not taking away the Washington Redskins rights to continue to call themselves the Redskins; to continue to use that trademark; to continue to put its logo on things; to continue to sue people or threaten to sue people who try to use their logo.”
To listen to a recording of the interview, please click here.
Smith Anderson was not involved in this matter and did not advise either party.
About Kelli Ovies
Kelli practices in the areas of Contract Disputes and Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property and Intellectual Property Litigation. Although she concentrates her practice in litigation, she also assists clients with protecting their intellectual property by prosecuting trademark registration applications before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. For more information on Kelli, please visit her bio.