Washington Commanders May Have To Change Name Again After Trademark Application Gets Denied

With the Washington Commanders approaching a sale, there are rumors that new ownership may want to change their name again, but now they may have to whether they want to or not.

According to trademark attorney Josh Gerben on Twitter, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied an application for trademark for ‘Commanders’ as the name of the franchise.  


The denial cited two reasonings:


(1) the existence of a trademark for “Commanders’ Classic”

(2) pending applications filed by a man in the D.C. area.

The Commanders’ Classic is the name of the annual college football game between Army and Air Force. Also, Martin McCaulay filed trademarks for “Washington Space Commanders” and “Washington Wolf Commanders,” at a time when he was trying to squat on the team’s potential new name.

It doesn’t end the issue. As Gerben explains, the team can fight the matter, and it can attempt to work out a deal to use the name. (McCaulay already has said he’ll surrender anything he owns to the team. That’s something he has been saying for several years now.

Gerben believes the team will eventually be able to use the name. The separate question is whether new ownership will want to. The best move could be to make a clean break from All Things Snyder, and a full rebrand could be part of that effort.