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Trademark issue complicates Washington’s name change

With Washington's NFL franchise finally retiring its name and logo, Mike Florio looks at what's next for the franchise in its transformation.

Washington will keep its current name until it has a new name. So when will it have a new name?

That hinges in large part on the ability to secure federal trademark protection for the new name and video. As explained on Sunday, trademark squatters have complicated the issue.

Martin McCaulay currently has secured (or tried to secure) the following names in recent years: Americans, Bravehearts, Federals, Forces, Founders, Gladiators, Monuments, Natives, Pandas, Pigskins, Red-Tailed Hawks, Renegades, Sharks, Veterans, Tribe, Redtails, Monuments Veterans, Renegades, Red-Tailed Hawks, Americans, and Red Wolves.

As of 2015, McCaulay said that he’d spent $20,000 on the effort to secure trademark rights to alternative names. In an unverified Twitter account (which nevertheless seems to be legitimate), McCaulay claims he has offered to give the teams the trademarks at no cost.

“Started out because I thought it would be funny to register Washington Pigskins then this unusual hobby of mine got out of control,” McCaulay tweeted on Sunday night. “I am a fan of watching the team on TV and went to one game last year. It is not meant to be adversarial.”

McCaulay notes that one option that has emerged in recent days -- Red Wolves -- currently is the subject of litigation between a Chattanooga soccer team and Arkansas State University.

However it plays out, it’s not going to be cheap and it’s not going to be easy and frankly it’s Daniel Snyder’s own fault for waiting this long to do what needed to be done to lay the foundation for a new name.