Off of the field, things aren't exactly going well for the NFL team located in the nation's capital. While the franchise is looking to continue improving in Year 2 with head coach Ron Rivera on the sideline, it's been wrought with controversy outside the lines -- one major issue being its name. Long viewed as having a name that is a racial slur against Native Americans, owner Dan Snyder finally relented in his promise to never change the name and instead adopted the "Washington Football Team" after mountains of backlash finally took root in 2020.
But, one season later, the team still doesn't own exclusive rights to the name, and presumably won't ever. Snyder and Co. were reportedly met with a denied trademark application by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, per Sam Fortier of The Washington Post, leaving the name vulnerable to duplication by any and all.
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The reported reasons for the rejected application were twofold, in that the name refers to a too-generic geographic area and that there's also a preexisting application for it -- from well-known trademark squatter Martin McCauley. Considering the first issue, it doesn't appear McCauley will be any more successful in stealing away the name than Snyder will be in securing it outright.
This leaves Washington to continue attempting to trademark it, but not from using it. And seeing as it was deemed temporary when the initial name change was made, it won't be a fight that continues into perpetuity. A permanent name change is expected as early as 2022, at which point they'd hope for better luck in trademarking it.
That includes beating McCauley to the punch.