Following increased pressure to drop the disparaging “Redskins” term from their brand, the NFL’s Washington team will need to carefully consider their trademark rights if they decide to change their name. In order to avoid a legal battle, they will need to do thorough trademark searches for any potential names they come up with.
Josh Gerben provided Bloomberg Law with insight on the influence of trademark squatters attempting to secure rights on potential team names:
“If there’s no underlying equity, the value is in the eye of the beholder. They may be willing to spend a little bit. But if someone filed a trademark application for a shirt brand, I’d be very surprised if you see something north of a couple hundred thousand.”
“The team may choose an entirely new name with no current rightsholder. The team could challenge a squatter’s trademark for nonuse at the Trademark Office, but starting a legal battle wouldn’t be practical.
“I can tell you as someone who files for thousands of trademarks a year, not all the good names are taken.”
Source: Jahner, Kyle. “New Name for Washington’s NFL Team Hinges on Securing Trademark.” BloombergLaw.com. 07 July 2020.