Washington Football Team trademark request in jeopardy after patent ruling

The trademark request made by the Washington Football Team is in serious jeopardy after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office found that a pre-existing application is too similar.

The office's refusal was because of a "likelihood of confusion" with another trademark.

Philip McCaulay is the legal owner of the "Washington Football Club" trademark and owns dozens of others.

He has been criticized as a being "trademark hog" and told ABC News last year that he offered the National Football League dozens of free trademarks for possible DC team names.

Washington Football Team coach Ron Rivera watched Wednesday morning's minicamp. (Photo: Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports)

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Last July, the organization changed its name from "Redskins" to the Washington Football Team after pressure from Native Americans, who said the previous nickname was racist, and threats from corporate sponsors.

The Washington Football Team has six months to initiate a response to the refusal. They can either ask for a withdrawal, delete the class to which the refusal pertains and by submitting evidence and arguments against the refusal.

In June 2014, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled six federal trademark registrations for the Redskins, saying the nickname is “disparaging to Native Americans” and cannot be trademarked under federal law that prohibits trademark protection on offensive or disparaging language.

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