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.

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.

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”).


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.

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