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The Washington DC football team (formerly known as the Washington Redskins) has finally decided to rebrand and change their team name. This comes after years of public pressure regarding a name that many consider to be offensive and culturally insensitive. Thus, they were deciding between a multitude of potential names. Some of the popular contenders were the Washington Red Tails, Washing Warriors, and Washington Red Wolves, just to name a few.

But then…then they came across a bit of an issue! Turns out, somebody had already taken steps to register trademarks with the USPTO for all of those potential new team names.

Does this mean the football trademark issues are something they should take heed to when it comes to those names? Does this mean they are SOL with all of those options?

No. Mainly because the guy who filed them has made it clear that he wants to give the trademarks to the NFL team. This is the primary reason why it won’t be a huge issue for the team.

But there are other factors at play with these football trademark issues. In the United States (and many other countries), trademark rights are based on first use. Compare this with many other countries that base their trademark rights on the first to file. In those jurisdictions, whoever files for the trademark registration first is the winner (yay!). Though here in the United States, the winner is the first to use the mark in commerce, regardless of if or when a trademark application was filed.

Tune in to this week’s All Up In Yo’ Business to learn more.

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Want more information on intellectual property? Check out: Intellectual Property Rights Explained.