The United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a ruling Wednesday morning canceling trademark registrations for the name of the Washington R*dskins. The decision by the PTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board in the case of Blackhorse v. Pro-Football Inc. was made on the basis that the name is “disparaging to Native Americans” and, as such, cannot be trademarked because federal law prohibits the protection of offensive or disparaging language.
The ruling does not preclude the use of R*ds*ins as a common law mark, it just prevents registration. That will have consequences. It means team owner Dan Snyder will have a more difficult time registering the mark in foreign countries, which means that the team would not have exclusive rights, which is what a registered trademark creates. No more licensing, which will cut into revenue from sales of all kinds of team paraphernalia. But Snyder can still seek exclusive rights here by asserting common law trademark rights.
I'm guessing part of his reluctance, along with being a bigot, was the cost of changing the name. Now he's got the cost of keeping the name to factor in.