The "Legal Mind" Behind the Groundbreaking Cancellation of Washington Redskins Trademark Registrations
The vision and foresight that Stephen Baird brings to solve difficult legal problems began while in law school more than twenty years ago, but continues today. His research in what was, at the time, a relatively untested section of the trademark law – that a trademark could not be immoral, deceptive or scandalous – was the legal blueprint for a challenge against the owners of the Washington Redskins NFL team. His research included newspaper and film clips documenting the use of the word “redskins” as disparaging, which ultimately laid the groundwork for a suit that resulted in a groundbreaking 2014 decision by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to cancel the Washington Redskins’ trademark registrations.
As reported in the Des Moines Register,
Suzan Harjo, President of the Morning Star Institute, a national native rights organization in Washington, D.C., said of Stephen’s influence, “He was very focused and very precise but he also had a broad view of what kind of evidence would be needed. None of this gets done by one person. There was a team. But it was his vision and his theory that drove it. And he won. We won.”
Stephen has been profiled and quoted in numerous other publications regarding the case and the decision, including The Wall Street Journal
, The New York Times
, Minnesota Lawyer
, Minnesota Public Radio,
and Iowa Public Radio
, among others.