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Washington Football Team trademark application in jeopardy after initial refusal by patent office

  • June 19, 2021

A trademark request made by the Washington Football Team for use of the name is in serious jeopardy after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found that a pre-existing application is too similar.

The office’s refusal was because it is likely “consumers would be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the commercial source of the goods and/or services of the parties.”

The original application asked for WFT or Washington Football Team to be used on clothing, namely, fleece tops and bottoms, headwear, caps being headwear, knit hats, t-shirts, and other apparel. 

Philip McCaulay is the legal owner of the “Washington Football Club” trademark and owns dozens of others with potential team nicknames.

He has been criticized as a being “trademark hog” and told ABC News last year that he offered the National Football League dozens of free trademarks for possible DC team names.

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Last July, the organization changed its name from “Redskins” to the Washington Football Team after pressure from Native Americans, who said the previous nickname was racist, and threats from corporate sponsors. Owner Daniel Snyder had previously said he would never change the nickname as long as he was in control of the team.

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