Does the US Government have the power to remove trademarks from people or companies that did not commit a crime

Submitted by Kevin Hoda on April 4, 2015   Commentary Tags: , , , , , , ,
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That is what this whole removal of the Redskins trademark is about.

This case, Blackhorse v. Pro Football, Inc,  will be headed to the Supreme Court if the Redskins lose their case in court. While I feel if it does reach that point, the Supreme Court will rule in favor of the Redskins, I wonder what will happen if they rule against them.

Basically what the court would have said is that the Federal Government can remove issued trademarks at any time if a elected official finds them offensive. Does not matter if your brand is 83 years old and is worth $2.4 billion like the Washington Redskins. Yes, the name is offensive to some, but does that mean it loses its trademark?

Does the US government have the right to remove trademarks for a company that did not commit any crime? That is the question.

If the Washington Redskins lose the court case over their trademark, it will stage a dangerous precedent for other companies.

This caught my mind last night as I remember how elected officials before wanted to limited free speech by calling it commercial speech. By calling it commercial speech, they feel it does not have the protection in the first amendment.

The city of Seattle has banned the word ‘citizen’ from being used in any city document or discussions. Will that word be banned next in the future and all the companies that use the word in their trademark be stripped of that trademark? Yes, words are can be offensive, that does not mean we should strip companies of their trademarks.

Will the New England Patriot’s trademark be banned too? The word Patriot offends some people.

Trademarks owned by musicians like Eminem, or by companies like Rockstar games(Grand Theft Auto) will be next on the list. This court case will allow the Government to attack free speech by removing trademarks. By law, the president and government cannot censor and remove offensive free speech. Grand Theft Auto won a Supreme Court ruling saying that their videos games are free speech as elected officials tried to attack their rights under the first amendment.

So instead of trying to ban music and video games, elected officials can now legally remove the trademarks of those companies. So when a person feels Grand Theft Auto is racist, offensive and violent and wants it banned, he or she can just ban the trademark by calling it offensive. It will happen if the court rules against them. I guarantee it. Grand Theft Auto’s trademark is on the list of future trademarks that will be removed because they are deemed offensive by a someone in office, or the game will be blamed for some crime. The power to remove trademarks for companies that did not commit any crime should not be a power of the government. Granted, companies will still enforce their trademark with or without a federal registration, as trademarks can still be protected under common law.

The rapper Eminem was attacked on a daily bases from the president and media throughout his career. If you recall, some in the government wanted his music banned, Clinton blamed him and other musicians like Marilyn Manson for the Columbine school shooting for creating a “culture of violence, and tried to use that tragic incident to remove free speech and the 2nd amendment. If the Redskins lose, any president can remove trademarks on companies that they find offensive. Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty, rap music, movies, etc.

This is why I feel the court will side with the Redskins. The power to remove trademarks from people or companies that did not commit a crime is a crime.

Watch Al and Tipper Gore try to censor music because they found Dee Snider and other musicians offensive. If they had the power to remove trademarks, they would have removed any he owned.

 

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