Movie clips used against Redskins in patent case

Kevin C. Cox

Plaintiffs used movie clips, among other sources, to build a case against the Redskins that ultimately led the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel six registrations for the team's name. Here are a few of those clips.

As part of its case against the Washington Redskins, the litigation team behind the plaintiffs used movie clips as examples of the team's name being used pejoratively. The clips were used as part of a package of evidence that included "dictionary definitions and other reference works, newspaper clippings ... scholarly articles, expert linguist testimony, and evidence of the historic opposition by Native American groups."

That evidence led the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel six registrations for the name "Redskins" because it deemed the moniker to be "disparaging to Native Americans." The same ruling had been handed down by the office in 1992, but was overturned in court because of a lack of substantial evidence. Plaintiffs are reportedly confident that the 2014 ruling won't meet the same fate.

So what were the damning movie clips? Mostly excerpts from old Western films. The plaintiffs used 11 clips from 10 different movies as evidence, according to the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg, who kindly clipped a few:

Northwest Passage, 1940:

Ride 'em Cowboy, 1942

Calamity Jane, 1952

Once Upon a Time in the West, 1968

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