- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 19, 2014

Conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh didn’t mince words in his assessment of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s severing of the Redskins name over perceptions its was “disparaging,” calling the move akin to tyranny — a pure power play on the part of the president.

“This is not the Patent and Trademark Office,” Mr. Limbaugh said, on his Wednesday broadcast. “This is Barack Obama. This is [the] executive branch … all of this, well, tyranny, it’s all coming from the executive branch. And Obama owns the executive branch. He is the executive branch.”

Mr. Limbaugh later said in the program: “This is an abject, total power play. This is the administration illustrating what it can do,” Newsmax reported.

Mr. Limbaugh isn’t the only one to decry the federal government’s cut-back of six patents on the Redskins’ name.

One associate professor of advertising at Boston University, Tobe Berkovitz. told Newsmax that the move was a direct hit to the First Amendment — and that its legal roots were questionable.

“So much for freedom of speech,” he said. “If you can take away that trademark because it’s offensive to some, maybe you can start taking away trademarks that are offensive to other people. I don’t see how something like this could stand.”

The Trademark Trial and Appeal Board just ruled 2-1 that the Redskins name was “disparaging of Native Americans” and should therefore lose its protected status.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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