H. R. 684
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
February 3, 2015
Mr. Honda (for himself, Mr. Blumenauer, Mr. Cárdenas, Ms. Slaughter, Ms. Edwards, Ms. Brown of Florida, Ms. Lee, Ms. Lofgren, Mr. Lewis, Ms. Moore, Ms. Bass, Mr. Grijalva, Ms. Norton, Ms. McCollum, Mr. Brady of Pennsylvania, Mr. Vargas, Mr. Takano, Mr. Pocan, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Mr. Kilmer, Mr. Ellison, Mr. McDermott, Mr. Nolan, Mr. Takai, Mr. Carson of Indiana, Ms. Clarke of New York, and Ms. Fudge) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To amend the Trademark Act of 1946 regarding the disparagement of Native American persons or
peoples through marks that use the term
redskin, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Non-Disparagement of Native American Persons or Peoples in Trademark Registration Act of 2015.
Congress finds the following:
The use of the terms
redskins in trademarks is widely understood to refer to or imply a negative reference to Native American persons or peoples, or both.
redskin has been demonstrated by overwhelming linguistic and historical evidence to constitute a disparaging epithet insulting to Native American persons or peoples, or both.
Major Native American organizations, including the National Congress of American Indians, the National Indian Education Association, the Native American Journalists Association, the Native American Rights Fund, the Morning Star Institute, the International Indian Treaty Council, and the National Indian Youth Council, have opposed the continued use of the term
redskin in trademarks or as the name of sports teams.
Recent psychological evidence has demonstrated the general negative effects associated with references in sports to Native American people.
Trademarks containing the term
redskin, or any derivation of the term, should not continue to enjoy the benefits of Federal registration.
References to Trademark Act of 1946
In this Act, the term
Trademark Act of 1946 means the Act entitled
An Act to provide for the registration and protection of trademarks used in commerce, to carry out the provisions of certain international conventions, and for other purposes, approved July 5, 1946 (commonly referred to as the
Lanham Act; 15 U.S.C. 1051 et seq.).
Registration of marks containing certain terms
Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1052(a)), is amended by adding at the end the following:
A mark consisting of or including the term .
redskin or any derivation of the term
redskin shall be conclusively presumed to consist of matter which may disparage persons if (1) the mark has been, is, or is intended to be used in commerce in connection with references to or images of one or more Native American persons or peoples, or to Native American persons or peoples in general; or (2) the Director determines that the term as included in the mark is commonly understood to refer to one or more Native American persons or peoples, or to Native American persons or peoples in general.
Cancellation of marks
Section 14 of the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1064), is amended—
in the text before paragraph (1), by striking
A petition to cancel and inserting
(a) Petitions To cancel.—A petition to cancel; and
by adding at the end the following:
Cancellation of marks containing certain terms
Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, the Director shall cancel a registration of a mark containing the term
redskin or any derivation of the term
the mark has been or is used in commerce in connection with references to or images of one or more Native American persons or peoples, or to Native American persons or peoples in general; or
the Director determines that the term as included in the mark is commonly understood to refer to one or more Native American persons or peoples, or to Native American persons or peoples in general.
A registration cancelled under paragraph (1) shall not be subject to renewal pursuant to section 9 of this Act.
Cancellation Due to Blurring or Dilution by Tarnishment
Section 2(f) of the Trademark Act of 1946 (15 U.S.C. 1052(f)), is amended in the last sentence by striking
section 14 and inserting
Exception to Incontestability
Section 15 of such Act (15 U.S.C. 1065) is amended in the text before paragraph (1) by striking
section 14 of this Act, and inserting
section 14(a) of this Act or for which a registration is required to be cancelled under section 14(b) of this Act,.
This Act shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act and shall apply to—
any mark that is registered under the Trademark Act of 1946 before, on, or after such date; and
any application to register a mark under that Act that is pending on, or filed on or after, such date.