On July 8, 2015, The Washington Redskins attempt to protect the use of its name and logo took a step backwards. The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia affirmed a decision of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the legal protection of the Redskins’ name and logo. Judge Gerald B. Lee affirmed the decision stating the Redskins’ mark possessed certain elements that 'may disparage' a substantial composite of Native Americans.
If your company loses legal protection of its name and logo, are you barred from using it? Not at all. Your company may continue to capitalize on its intellectual property. The promotional use and merchandising of the property is still a viable option to you. However the issue that arises is the use of your intellectual property by others. Without the legal protection of the properties, individuals and other business may attempt to make capitalize and profit off of your property.
There are still other avenues in place to prevent others from using your property. State laws and federal laws are in place to deter and stop counterfeits. There is also common law precedent to help protect your property from being counterfeited. If your company operates nationally, you may have to bring a lawsuit in each jurisdiction where there is evidence of a counterfeit occurrence. An attorney should be consulted when there is a chance that you may lose any protective rights to your intellectual property.