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Washington Redskins, property rights and free speech

By Scott Tibbs, June 25, 2014

To follow up on a short post from last week, and the comments under that post, here are some additional thoughts about the Washington Redskins' trademark being stolen by the Obama regime.

First of all, intellectual property rights are property rights. The team has been the Washington Redskins since 1937, and has had its trademark for decades.Taking away the trademark protection and allowing others to use the name without paying a royalty to the team is government-enabled theft, pure and simple. This was a purely political decision, and no matter what trademark law says the Obama regime does not have the legal authority under the Constitution to punish the Washington Redskins because he does not like their name.

Second, I used the wrong term: It is a trademark, not a patent. To which I say: Whoop de diddly do. I am sure none of my critics have ever used the wrong word in either conversation or something written. Yes, I made a mistake, but it is patently absurd to argue that one wrong word affects my credibility one way or the other. Get over it.

Third, of course this is a free speech issue. The Obama regime has encouraged theft on a grand scale because of an offensive word, and has moved to deny the Washington Redskins equal protection under the law for their intellectual property. The fact that this is a shamelessly political decision by Obama regime activists is illustrated by an excellent column by Brent Bozell. It is absurd that the abbreviation for "Mothers I'd Like to F***" is given trademark protection but the name of a football team that has had the same name for nearly 80 years is not.

  • The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office... approved the phrase "Dago Swagg," despite the insult to Italian-Americans, as well as "Uppity Negro."
  • Nine uses became registered trademarks, including "Diary of a MILF," "MILF Magnet," MILF Next Door," "Backroom MILF," "MILF Workout" and even "Fat MILF."
  • The PTO found insufficient evidence that the term "Cumbrella" for condoms was scandalous.

Fortunately, the Redskins' trademark protection will remain in place as the Obama regime's decision is appealed. While I personally think the name should be changed, that decision should be made by the National Football team and the Washington Redskins, not by bureaucrats in the Obama regime. And yes, this is an Obama decision. He has made absolutely no effort to stop or reverse this decision by his own Executive branch. Obama apologists need to own this decision, especially since they are praising it.