Washington Redskins Lose 6 Trademarks in Landmark Case

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office calls NFL team name 'disparaging to Native Americans.'

In this June 17, 2014, file photo, Washington Redskins helmets sit on the field during an NFL football minicamp in Ashburn, Va. The U.S. Patent Office ruled Wednesday, June 18, 2014, that the Washington Redskins nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team's federal trademarks for the name must be canceled. The ruling comes after a campaign to change the name has gained momentum over the past year.

The Washington Redskins may have to change the team name and logos since the U.S. Patent Office ruled Wednesday that the nickname is "disparaging of Native Americans."

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations for the team’s name Wednesday, claiming it is “disparaging to Native Americans." 

The case, brought to the PTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board by five Native Americans in 2006, removed six federal trademarks that included the word “Redskin” reported The Washington Post.

[READ: Board Strips Washington Redskins of Trademark Protection Due to 'Disparaging' Name]

“The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board agreed with our clients that the team’s name and trademarks disparage Native Americans,” Jesse Witten, the plaintiff’s attorney told Politico. “The Board ruled that the Trademark Office should never have registered these trademarks in the first place.”

The decision does not prohibit the Washington Redskins from keeping its name or from using its trademark. It could, however, affect the NFL and the team's profits from merchandise if they no longer have the exclusive rights to the name and logo, said The New York Times.

“It is a great victory for Native Americans and for all Americans. We filed our petition eight years ago and it has been a tough battle ever since," said one of the petitioners, Amanda Blackhorse. "I hope this ruling brings us a step closer to that inevitable day when the name of the Washington football team will be changed.”

[ALSO: Should D.C.'s Redskins Lose Their Trademark?]

But this is not the first time the trademarks have been compromised.

In 1999, the same decision was made, but 10 years later the Washington Redskins and the NFL won an appeal to the U.S. District Court, said The Post. Team officials are expected to appeal this case, hoping for another victory.