Native Americans get huge boost after Washington Redskins trademark ruling

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The Washington Redskins received a huge blow to their attempts to retain their controversial nickname Wednesday, as the US Patent and Trademark Office cancelled the NFL franchise's Redskins trademark.

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, responding to a case entitled 'Blackhorse v Pro Football, Inc',  found the 'Redskins' monicker to be disparaging to Native Americans.

The ruling comes after the Washington franchise had come under increased scrutiny, and criticism, for maintaining their plans to keep the Redskins name despite it's controversial nature.

Big blow for the Redskins

"We decide, based on the evidence properly before us, that these registrations must be cancelled because they were disparaging to Native Americans at the respective times they were registered," read an official statement released by the board.

The result will be a huge boost for those championing for change, but Wednesday's events do no mean that Redskins must immediately drop their nickname.

In reality, the ruling simply applies to six separate trademarks which use Redskins in relation to the NFL team - a deliberately targeted approach decided upon by the five Native Americans who filed the case earlier this year.

What happen's next?

The Redskins may now appeal the decision, an action that franchise owner Dan Snyder seems likely to take considering his constant defence of the Redskins name amidst the recent criticism, but should they lose said appeal the repercussion could be huge economically. 

If the ruling is upheld then Washington would be able to carry on with their nickname but would be unable to stop anyone else from using the Redskins title without the team's permission.

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This latest update to the continued saga comes just a month after many of the United States Senate had voiced their concern at the Redskins nickname - with half of the body calling on the NFL to force their Washington franchise to drop what they called "a racial slur".

With such huge opposition facing them, it remains to be seen whether the Redskins finally give in to public pressure or whether Snyder and co fight the ruling.

Whatever the outcome, today's events are certainly a major boost for the Native American community.

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