The Washington Redskins announced Monday their intention to drop the long-held and offensive nickname and logo, moving forward with something that can only be described as TBD right now. Washington initiated a comprehensive review of the situation roughly 10 days ago ahead of the holiday weekend -- in large part because of financial pressure from various retailers and sponsors -- and quickly made the decision to scrap all Native American imagery from their overall setup.
It makes sense. So what will the next nickname and logo be? Our Jared Dubin created a list of possible new nicknames, but some of the names on that list are problematic, because several different trademark squatters have decided to register for possible Washington nicknames.
Specifically, Martin McCauley, who registered trademarks for a whole bunch of different names relating to possible new nicknames for Washington.
McCauley, an actuary for the Dept. of Energy in D.C., has been profiled by Will Hobson of the Washington Post in the past; squatting on trademarks is something he's passionate about doing. McCauley has spent more than $20,000 trying to lock up different names Washington could ultimately end up going with, from things like Bravehearts to Pandas.
Recently, when Snyder announced the team's intention to make a change, McCauley added multiple new trademark registrations, including Red Wolves, Redtails, Monuments, Veterans, Renegades and more.
The goal here, presumably, is to either have the team pay McCauley a substantial sum for the trademark (if he acquires it) or to simply go away by withdrawing his registration from the Trademark Office.
Legally, there is a lot going on here. McCauley does't own these names. Far from it. As Hobson pointed out in his profile, McCauley has to actively sell goods relating to the name in order to actually have a chance at securing the trademark. Which might be why McCauley has thousands of dollars in fake football gear at his house for these various teams. (I would wear a Washington Pandas t-shirt, so someone tell me how to buy it.)
He doesn't actually sell these, but told Hobson his plan is to get paid if Washington or the NFL needs to purchase the trademark.
It seems really unlikely given how trademark and patent law works, but given how many he's locked up and given the timing of this change for the "Redskins'' (minimal amount of time ahead of the 2020 season, if they do want to change before then), it's possible Washington might actually need to cough up some coin if they plan on using one of McCauley's nicknames.
One guy who probably won't be getting paid? Raymond Luchi out of California, who recently registered a trademark for "Washington Radskins" a name that no one thinks is actually getting consideration. But maybe it should.