According to the USPTO site, they have issued a denial for the Washington Football Team to use that as their official name.
Seen first in a tweet by IP attorney Josh Gerben, the initial denial is due to the possibility of confusion to the name Washington Football Club, a TM owned by the self-proclaimed Trademark Hog, Martin McCauley.
The USPTO has issued an initial refusal of the trademark application for WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM.— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) June 19, 2021
The USPTO found a pre-existing registration for WASHINGTON FOOTBALL CLUB was too close to WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM.
The WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM will have 6 months to respond. pic.twitter.com/XG89Ls8HlS
McCauley had in the past offered his TMs to the team for nothing, but we don’t know if that’s still on the table.
When we reached out to Mr McCaulay, he referred statements to his attorney, Darren Heitner, who has released a statement via Twitter.
Trademark application to register “Washington Football Team” for sale of clothing is in jeopardy of rejection.— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) June 19, 2021
WFT’s app has been refused, in part, due to an existing registration for “Washington Football Club” owned by @MartinMcCaulay, who is willing to discuss a resolution. pic.twitter.com/qzsmARSxDN
Other issues with the name brought up by the Trademark Office is that the name isn’t geographically descriptive. Meaning that there could be confusion with the state of Washington in the marketplace. The report also says:
Trademark Act Section 2(d) bars registration of an applied-for mark that is so similar to a registered mark that it is likely consumers would be confused, mistaken, or deceived as to the commercial source of the goods and/or services of the parties. See 15 U.S.C. §1052(d). Likelihood of confusion is determined on a case-by-case basis by applying the factors set forth in In re E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 476 F.2d 1357, 1361, 177 USPQ 563, 567 (C.C.P.A. 1973) (called the “du Pont factors”).USPTO Site.
The team had also chosen 2022 as the target for when the official name change would happen. There had also been an idea that they would keep the present name.
The franchise has six months to respond; that response can come as an extension, as I am sure the team would rather deal with this in the offseason.
Gerben also said this in the tweet”
The refusal issued by the USPTO pertains specifically to the “clothing” portion of the Washington Football Team application. If the claim for clothing items was removed, USPTO indicated they could approve the application for just the name of a football team.Josh Gerben
Nothing has been done so far, and we may not see anything happen until the 6th month mark. Which will likely be the aforementioned extension to respond
Since this is an ongoing issue, stay with us as it develops.