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ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — Five Native Americans asked a federal judge Monday to dismiss a lawsuit the Washington Redskins filed against them over the team's nickname.
The Native Americans, who are members of five different tribes throughout the U.S., won a trademark dispute earlier this year with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over Washington's nickname. The agency ruled that the Redskins should lose trademark protection for their name because it may disparage Native Americans.
In court papers, lawyers for the Native Americans said that if the team wants to sue, it needs to sue the Patent and Trademark Office, which made the decision. The lawyers argued the Redskins have no cause to sue the Native Americans because they are not the ones who ruled on the name.
The Redskins said a provision in federal law allows them to sue the individuals who sought the trademark's cancellation.
The court papers do not delve into whether the Redskins name is disparaging.
A hearing was scheduled for Oct. 31.
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