Washington Commanders hit snag with new team nickname
The Washington Commanders unveiled their new nickname last year and have hit a bit of a snag.
The Commanders attempted to trade their name, but they have encountered a few issues with their filing. The US Patent and Trademark Office did not approve their request for trademark for two reasons.
The first reason is because the USPTO believed there could be confusion between the Washington Commanders and the “Commanders’ Classic,” which is already trademarked. The “Commanders’ Classic” is the name for the annual college football game between Army and Air Force.
The application was also rejected due to pending applications for “Washington Space Commanders” and “Washington Wolf Commanders.” A D.C. man filed to trademark those names while guessing what the Washington Football Team’s nickname would be.
The second reason the Commanders' trademark was refused was due to pending applications for:
1⃣ Washington Space Commanders
2⃣ Washington Wolf Commanders
The filings were made by Martin McCaulay, a DC-area man, who filed the trademarks trying to guess the new team name.
— Josh Gerben (@JoshGerben) May 24, 2023
The Washington franchise was formerly nicknamed the Redskins from 1933-2019. They went by the “Washington Football Team” name for two years before announcing their “Commanders” nickname.
The Commanders can file a response and argue there will not be confusion between their name and the nickname for the Army-Air Force game, or they could try to buy out the rights to that name.
As far as the Space and Wolf Commanders applications, the person who filed those seems willing to negotiate a deal with the Commanders.
Nobody should come out of this matter thinking that the Commanders will have to change their nickname. Rather, they appear to have a path to get what they want. However, keep in mind that once the team is sold, a new owner might want to revist the topic of the team’s nickname.