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U.S. Patent Office cancels trademark registrations for NFL's Washington Redskins

The "Redskins" nickname has been in use for more than 80 years. (Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Washington Redskins

The United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademark registrations for the NFL's Washington Redskins on Wednesday, saying the nickname is “disparaging to Native Americans” and cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits trademark protection on offensive or disparaging language.

The team has been under fire for the past year, with many groups, including the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, wanting the nickname changed.

Last month, the team hired a lobbying firm to help with the public backlash after senators sent a letter to the National Football League saying they also wanted the name changed.

 “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,” the Trademark Trial and Appeals board wrote in its opinion.

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Redskins owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly said that he will not change the nickname despite the opposition.

The Trademark Trial and Appeals Board said the "Redskins" name is the subject for cancellation for "entertainment services -namely, football exhibitions rendered in stadia and through the media of radio and television broadcasts."

The team's cheerleading squad, the "Redskinettes," are also subject to the cancellation, for “entertainment services, namely, cheerleaders who perform dance routines at professional football games and exhibitions and other personal appearances," according to the board.

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