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At U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, ‘Redskins’ Is Out, Partying On Your Dime Still P.C.

Arbitrarily canceling trademarks one day, blowing tax dollars on a picnic day for hundreds of employees -- hey, a volleyball trophy! -- the next. Also read: EPA Workers ‘Told To Stop Pooping In the Hallways’

by
David Steinberg

Bio

June 25, 2014 - 11:21 am

Last week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled six trademarks held by the NFL’s Washington Redskins, claiming they are “disparaging” to Native Americans. The decision — causing significant financial damage to the privately owned corporation — appears arbitrary and political, as the PTO has granted numerous trademarks that appear to fall under the same definition of “disparaging.” Notably, the office was pressured back in May to take action against the  Redskins by a coalition including the National Congress of American Indians, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Law Professor Jonathan Turley has since weighed in:

In Turley’s view, some trademarks are protected not because of any inherent free speech rights, but simply because no one has yet challenged them. “Currently trademarked slogans such as ‘Uppity Negro’ and ‘You Can’t Make A Housewife Out Of A Whore’ could lose their protections,” he writes, “despite the social and political meaning they hold for their creators.”

Byron York at the Washington Examiner easily located and described numerous other potential offenders in his piece titled “Patent Office Quandary: No to ‘Redskins’, Yes to ‘Crazy Bitch’?

Today, the taxpayer-funded federal entity that arbitrarily punishes its private sector political enemies is arbitrarily spending your money on a huge spread, trophies, and a pie-eating contest.

As of now, they are still there partying at Fort Hunt Park in Alexandria, Virginia. Not on a weekend, but in the middle of the work week — presumably a paid day for the hundreds present.

And they will be there at least until 2:00 p.m., when the Plinko tournament crowns a winner:

usptoa

Oops! “Plinko” is owned by Fremantle Media Operations. Loser pays fine.

usptob

A lot of heads, at lots of bucks a head.

usptoc

Joe’s spiking arm preps for an afternoon of “picking winners and losers.”

usptod

Some federal employees brought the whole family.

usptoe

To their credit, they skimped on the sound system, and apparently got a “great price” on something else. Maybe the party hat.

usptof

usptog

Double stacks of everything. Except the vegan option.

usptoi

Note shirtless guy. I’m calling OSHA.

usptoj

For the winners — but really, we’re all winners today. Except for American taxpayers with jobs and kids and responsibility. And the Washington Redskins.

I am calling the U.S.P.T.O. to ask why they think this is appropriate, especially on a day we learned the GDP contracted 2.9 percent in the first quarter.

Will update, if someone is there to answer the phone. In the meantime, head on over to Fort Hunt Park for some brisket. You paid for it.

Also read: 

EPA Workers ‘Told To Stop Pooping In the Hallways’

David Steinberg is the New York City Editor of PJ Media. Follow his tweets at @DavidSPJM.
All Comments   (9)
All Comments   (9)
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Perhaps the author needs to learn how the USPTO works before criticizing. The PTO is funded by fees collected from those who file applications or who pay to maintain their patent/trademark. The PTO is not funded by taxpayer dollars, but rather generates its own revenue. http://www.uspto.gov/about/stratplan/ar/2011/mda_06_01_03.html

Further, the above picnic was funded by ticket sales for said picnic ($22 for adults and $15 for kids). Family members of PTO employees are invited, but must purchase a ticket.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
The USPTO has never taken a dime from taxpayers - it is funded by user fees. Congress actually has a habit of siphoning money from the USPTO to *lower* your tax bill - to the tune of over a billion dollars. http://www.ipo.org/index.php/advocacy/hot-topics/uspto-funding/

You can't complain about the administrative leave unless you have actually filed for a patent. And you can't complain about the cost of the food at all because the attendees buy tickets before the event.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is true. The only people that can complain about this are those that have filed for a patent and must wait 2-3 years before anyone even looks at it. The backlog is a problem but abusing tax payer dollars is not in this case. Still, it's bad "optics".
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Defund DC. Rotate the national capital every 4 years.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey, if you can prove appropriated funds used for the food and drink then you've got a real violation.

but keep in mind, this is a work event, during work hours, even if on leave, any injuries would be subject to workman's comp.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, you didn't pay for the brisket. Summer picnics, holiday parties, etc, are paid for by the attendees. The most you can gripe about is that administrative leave is granted to the attendees.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please offer some evidence. I didn't see any prices posted at that spread. How did the attendees know what to pay? It was a paid day in the park that reduced your standard of living and improved theirs.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ticket prices for the picnic were $22 for adults and $15 for kids.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sure they are.
4 weeks ago
4 weeks ago Link To Comment
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