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Home » Washington Commanders’ trademark denied by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Capitol Communicator has a report that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office denied the Washington Commanders’ trademark.

Washington Commanders’ trademark denied by U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

by | May 31, 2023

When the Washington Commanders unveiled their new name and uniforms in February 2022, team executives detailed the lengthy rebranding process that had included months of sifting through trademark registrations, reports The Washington Post.

The challenge, they said, was finding a brand that had legal clearance and wouldn’t face future obstacles. It’s why they scrapped any variant of Wolves or Red Wolves — names that seemed to be fan favorites but were already trademarked by others.

“We didn’t want to risk going down a route that could be dotted with legal hurdles,” Commanders President Jason Wright wrote on the team’s website in January 2022. “The prospect of years of litigation wasn’t something that we wanted you, our fans, to have to bear as you begin to embrace a new brand.”

But 15 months into the Commanders era, the franchise has yet to have its name trademarked.

According to The Post, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office “denied the Commanders’ trademark May 18, citing “a likelihood of confusion” with other similar marks. The USPTO referenced the Commanders’ Classic, the annual Army-Air Force football game, as well as other marks with Washington or Commander that are used to sell goods. It also cited the Washington Space Commanders and Washington Wolf Commanders, trademarks owned by Martin McCaulay, 64, who has purchased numerous marks of fictional sports teams over the past decade.

“In a statement from a Commanders spokesperson, the team deemed the USPTO’s denial “an ordinary course step in the standard trademark registration process” and argued “there is no likelihood of confusion” between its name and the other cited registrations.

“We do not believe that any trademark registrations that were obtained by squatters who attempted to capitalize on the Club’s name change should stand in the way of our registrations,” the statement read.

“The team has three months to make its argument directly to the USPTO.”

More here.

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Capitol Communicator is a unique online and offline resource for Mid-Atlantic advertising, marketing, public relations, digital and media communications professionals. The e-magazine, e-newsletters and events bring together communications professionals, fostering community and providing important information; news; trends; education; and opportunities for networking, career enhancement, business exchange and showcasing great work. Visit www.capitolcommunicator.com to learn more.

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