It just got harder for the Washington Redskins to make money off of their name and logo -- the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has cancelled six of the team's trademarks.
Five Native Americans filed the case, arguing that the name disparages them. The patent office's appeals board has agreed, citing rules that say you can't have a trademark that “may disparage” individuals or groups or “bring them into contempt or disrepute.”
This doesn't mean the team has to change its name, but without trademark protection, the name and logo are open to anyone who wants to use them for profit. That will almost certainly take a large chunk out of the Redskins' merchandising revenues -- though it's too soon to say whether it will be a big enough chunk to prompt a name change to something trademark-able.
Team owner Daniel Snyder has long resisted calls to change the name and says he'll never do it.
photo: getty images