May 15, 2009
Court Rules For Football in Washington Team Name Case
The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has affirmed a ruling in favor of professional football against Native American plaintiffs over the Washington Redskin name and trademarks. The plaintiffs claimed the name is offensive, though the Court did not rule on that. Rather, it upheld the use of the latches defense and the ultimate dismissal of the case by the District Court. The suit was initiated in 1992. The plaintiffs included a person who was 1 year old at the time the Washington trademark was registered in 1967. The District Court applied latches over the 25 year delay in bringing the suit. An earlier appellate opinion held that the calculated time for latches should run from the time that person reached majority, starting in 1984, and reversed. On remand, the District Court still held that latches applied leading to the present appeal. The Court applied an abuse of discretion review based on D.C.C.A. precedent and upheld the latches defense. The most recent opinion is here, with complete references to the earlier litigation. CNN has a story here. [MG]
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The case has dragged on for almost 20 years now! Certainly delays have contributed to it. Either party refused to give in and fought all the way.
Posted by: Legal Aid | May 15, 2009 7:37:52 PM