More bad news for the Washington Redskins: following sustained protests from groups across the country that the team's name is derogatory (a long-standing criticism which intensified this season) comes a ruling by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that the team cannot trademark Redskins Hog Rinds. Why? It contains a derogatory slang term, according to The Washington Post.
According to a Dec. 29 letter from the agency, obtained by the Post, Registration is refused because the applied-for mark REDSKINS HOG RINDS consists of or includes matter which may disparage or bring into contempt or disrepute persons, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols.
Meanwhile: "A lawsuit brought by a group of Native Americans aimed at revoking the NFL teams federal trademark registration is pending before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board ... A decision in the current case could come any day."
This ruling could be a preview for a more sweeping revocation, a move advocated for by no less than President Obama.
As ThinkProgress points out, all of this endangers the team's revenue stream. A lost trademark means lost money -- what team lawyers have warned as every imaginable loss you can think of" -- which may be more of an incentive than any civil rights controversy.