A few months ago, I wrote a post explaining that, though the Washington Redskins lost their registered trademark with the United States Patent, they were still allowed to continue using their name. If you will recall, the USPTO voided the Redskins registered trademark because it deemed team’s name offensive to Native Americans. As such, it violated a federal law which states that the federal government cannot grant trademarks to names that “may disparage” individuals or groups, or “bring them into contempt or disrepute”.
After losing its registered trademark (which grants exclusive rights to using the name and logo in the entire country), the Washington Redskins are limited to only common law trademark protection. However, there is one major drawback: common law trademark rights only grant exclusive protection in the region in which you are operating… NOT the entire nation or even your state. In my July post, I wondered whether the Redskins common law protection would grant exclusive rights only in the Washington area? Or seeing that it is a part of the NFL and plays around the entire country, can it argue that its region is the entire country?
Well it seems the writers of South Park believe it's the former and that is why they produced this little gem highlighting the fact that other people across the country can now legally use the Redskins' name and logo.
Get Your Own Registered Trademark
Now that South Park has shown you the limits of relying only common law trademark protection, use our Cheat Sheet to find out how you can get your own registered trademark.