U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly overturned a 1999 decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office that stripped the franchise of its trademark protection, the Washington Times reported Thursday.
The franchise stood to lose as much as $5 million in merchandising revenue each year had it lost the appeal, to say nothing of losing control of one of the most well-known brand names in professional sports.
The Redskins retained the exclusive use of the nickname and logo during the appeal process.
The case was brought forward in 1992 by a group of seven American Indians, including Cheyenne activist and District resident Suzan Shown Harjo.
The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board seven years later granted the group's petition to cancel the Redskins' trademark protection as a violation of the Lanham Act, which prohibits the registration of names considered "disparaging, scandalous, contemptuous or disreputable."
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