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So Much for Trademarks as Protecting “Property Rights”

June 18, 2014 in Economics

By Jeff Deist


Poor billionaire Daniel Snyder, owner of the hapless Washington Redskins, can’t catch a break.  His latest indignity comes courtesy of the US Patent and Trademark office, which administratively cancelled six of his team’s trademarks. Apparently the 1946 Lanham Act forbids the registration of trademarks that disparage a particular group.

Putting aside any controversy over the team name, this defeat for the less-than-angelic Snyder has nothing to do with property.  Trademarks represent government-granted privileges, not government protection of property rights. So please Mr. Snyder, no whining about “due process.”  Maybe now you’ll start selling jerseys for less than $100!

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