The owner of what is now The Washington Football team has retired the Redskins name over pressure from sponsors. LPHS name partner Chris Schwegmann talked to Texas Lawyer in “What’s in a Name: Q&A with Chris Schwegmann of Lynn Pinker Hurst & Schwegmann” on the trademark implications of the team’s former name and logo.
If the team lets the Redskins trademark expire, will the owners have any rights when someone starts making and selling knock-off John Riggins jerseys?
Yes, even if the trademark registrations expire, Washington still has strong common-law rights in the mark, assuming it finds some way to use the mark in commerce without offending sponsors and fans. Would-be infringers will likely argue that Washington loudly “abandoned” the mark in 2020; that will be a fun litigation to watch if it ever materializes.
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