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The Indians may win the World Series, but what will become of their brand?

November 2, 2016 | Blog | By Joshua Briones, Esteban Morales, Crystal Lopez

The Cleveland Indians are back in the World Series for the first time in nineteen years, and with it have come renewed protests over the team’s name and Chief Wahoo logo, a depiction some consider a highly offensive caricature. 
Former UCLA basketball star and NCAA champion Ed O’Bannon was the lead plaintiff in a 2009 class action lawsuit that was the first serious challenge to the lifeblood of the NCAA’s very existence: all of its players are unpaid amateurs. 
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will review whether the U.S. Trademark Office can deny registration of offensive trademarks or whether such prohibition violates the First Amendment.
In 2014, a group of minor league players sued Major League Baseball, the Office of the Commissioner, former commissioner Bud Selig, and three MLB franchises alleging numerous violations of the federal minimum-wage law.

First Monday in October Might be Big Day for College Athletes

September 7, 2016 | Blog | By Bruce Sokler

No, the First Monday in October is not when the first poll for the College Football Playoffs is released.  And it is not the day of an important college football match-up.  However, it still might be an important day for college athletes—and the NCAA.
The New York State Gaming Commission issued temporary permits to five major daily fantasy sports operators on August 22, 2016, allowing DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo, FantasyDraft, and Draft to resume operations in the state of New York.

Washington Redskins Haven’t Won Yet: Why the Constitutionality of Section 2(a) is Not Yet Final

January 4, 2016 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller, Serge Subach

What do Washington D.C.’s NFL team, the Redskins, and Mr. Tam’s rock band, The Slants, have in common? Both have enjoyed unexpected victories recently and both have been called “disparaging” by the Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”).
The Federal Circuit has decided to revisit the constitutionality of Section 2(a) of the Lanham Act in the case of In re Shiao Tam, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 6840 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 27, 2015). Section 2(a) of the Lanham act allows the USPTO to reject the registration of a trademark that is immoral, scandalous, or disparaging.

…..and Don’t Even Think About Advertising a MARCH MADNESS Event Either!

March 17, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

It is that time of year again, coming off St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, when everyone gets on the college basketball bandwagon in the season of “MARCH MADNESS.”

Don’t Even Think About Advertising a SUPER BOWL Party!

January 26, 2015 | Blog | By Susan Neuberger Weller

As we all know, Super Bowl XLIX will be played this Sunday in Phoenix, Arizona between the defending Champion Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots. There will be events of all kinds organized all around the country focused on this football game.
The Washington Redskins professional football team will soon not only be battling Native Americans over the registrability of the REDSKINS trademark, but will also have to cross swords with the US Government.
The Washington Redskins trademark controversy is far from over. Despite the fact that certain news and sports commentators and mainstream newspapers and organizations have announced that they will no longer use the term "Redskins" when reporting on the National League football team, and the fact that a variety of public figures, including President Obama, have expressed an opinion that the name should be changed, team owner Dan Snyder continues to steadfastly defend the name as expressing only "honor and respect" and state that he has no intention of ever changing it.
A three-judge panel of the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB), for the second time and in a 2-1 decision, has held that the REDSKINS trademark used in connection with professional football and related services by the Washington Redskins National Football League team was disparaging to a substantial composite of Native Americans between 1967-1990, the time during which the registrations issued.
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