In a column today, Paul Lukas of Uni Watch, who has consistently been one of the leading and sharpest commentators on the ongoing Redskins naming controversy, speaks with attorney James McCarthy in an effort to sort out the current trademark litigation issues. McCarthy is a partner at the intellectual property law firm McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff and has previously written about sports branding. Here's an excerpt from the interview.
Gut feeling: Taking everything into account (legal issues, public opinion, political pressure, etc.), will the Redskins still be called the Redskins 15 years from now?
The brand is so valuable, and First Amendment rights are so valued in the United States, that the Redskins will probably be named the Redskins for as long as the team’s owners want to keep the name. It is doubtful that they will be forced to change it. However, political pressure, the reaction of the fan base and consumers, or a change of ownership could result in a voluntary decision to change the name. They could follow the path of colleges like Marquette (Warriors to Golden Eagles) or Miami of Ohio (Redskins to Red Hawks) and choose to change. The extensive exposure of the NFL and the value of current broadcasting rights would allow them to acquire very valuable rights in any new name and trademark very quickly.
For the full interview, click here.