Trademark Redskins not allowed?

For some time now there has been controversy over Washington DC’s football club the Redskins. The first trademarks of this club are from the 1960’s. According to the club the name is a reference to honor and courage. Native Americans, however, believe that the name is condescending, to say the least.

In the dictionary the word red skin is also described as racist and discriminatory. In 1993 the National Congress of American Indians decides that the name of the club is condescending, racist and hurtful to Native Americans. Although the final word has not been said on this case, the American trademark authorities already decided to cancel the trademark registration. The reason for this being that the trademarks are discriminatory. The club may still use the trademark, but may find it very difficult to act against merchandising products from third parties. This may turn into a financial disaster. The Washington Redskins have filed an appeal against the cancellation, which means that for the time being they may still invoke their trademark rights.


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MENTOS has been selling chewing gum under the name MENTOS PURE FRESH for several years. In order to protect her rights MENTOS has registered the following trademarks: the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH, the logo MENTOS PURE FRESH 3 and a figurative depiction of the word PURE. Defendant sells chewing gum under the trademark DENTYNE PURE and has registered its logo as a trademark. Infringement or not?
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