By filing the appeal to defend the team's name against those who consider it a racial slur in U.S. District Court, the team's lawyers can introduce new testimony that would not have been allowed had their case been filed in appellate court. And the franchise still will have the chance to appeal should the outcome not be favorable.
"The Washington Redskins look forward to all of the issues in the case being heard in federal court under the federal rules of evidence. The team is optimistic that the court will correctly and carefully evaluate the proofs, listen to the arguments, and confirm the validity of the Washington Redskins' federal trademark registrations, just as another federal court has already found in a virtually identical case," said Bob Raskopf, trademark attorney for the franchise.
In June, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decided the Redskins' name was "disparaging of Native Americans" and that the team should lose its trademark protection.
Raskopf will contend that the name "Redskins" is protected as free speech under the First Amendment.
Team owner Daniel Snyder has argued that the name "Redskins" is a badge of honor and has vowed never to change the name.
While the case is in federal court, the Redskins' federal trademark registrations remain in full effect allowing the team to sell Redskins jerseys, mugs and other items.