The Washington Redskins announced on Monday that the team is retiring its controversial nickname, one that many consider racist, and logo after a thorough review that started on July 3.
However, the path to trademarking the new name might be difficult thanks to one man’s “hobby.”
When whispers of a name change started in 2014, Martin McCaulay, a 61-year-old actuary who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, filed 44 trademark claims to potential nicknames for the D.C.-based team, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.
“I can really see into the future on this issue,” McCaulay said to Fox 5 in 2015. “Now when I look into the future, I see no change for 10 years, and then in 10 years, I see the name changing to the Washington Warriors. And if not the Warriors, then the Americans.”
It only took five years — and from the looks of it, McCaulay added a few more nicknames to that list.
Why don't the Redskins have a new nickname planned yet? Probably because some realtor in Alexandria beat them to the punch and trademarked every single possible new Redskins nickname. Well, played sir. pic.twitter.com/0an4apXaZy
— Will Brinson (@WillBrinson) July 13, 2020
According to CBS Sports reporter Will Brinson, those names include:
The Washington Red Wolves
The Washington Monuments
The Washington Veterans
While the Warriors and Americans monikers are still possibly on the table, McCaulay added nearly every possible nickname that has been floating around the internet since the Washington, D.C, team announced it was reviewing the name.
“It was, I thought, a fun hobby,” McCaulay said to the Times-Dispatch. “And it turned out that I got really good at it.”
Trademarking a name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office doesn’t guarantee a massive payout since the holder has to use the term in question, which is why McCaulay says he spent thousands creating team merchandise to sell, the Times-Dispatch reported.
“A squatter reserves a name with no intention to use it,” McCaulay told the Times-Dispatch. “I went to the extreme of buying a lot of merchandise, making it my brand, and selling it.”
Trademarking names and key phrases isn’t uncommon. Some people have even been trying to cash in on the COVID-19 pandemic by trademarking the phrase “I survived coronavirus quarantine 2020” and “Warning My Ride is Sicker Than the Coronavirus,” McClatchy News reported.
It’s been five years since McCaulay took his “hobby” and created the website WashingtonAmericansFootball.com, patiently waiting for the day that it will pay out — something that might happen this time around.
On Monday, McCaulay took to Twitter to explain his actions and tweeted at the NFL and commissioner Roger Goodell to take the trademarks off his hands — free of charge.
“@NFL @nflcommish Take my trademarks please! You can put that in all caps. I sent you an email on 7/4/2020 and said you can have them all for free.”
@NFL @nflcommish Take my trademarks please! You can put that in all caps. I sent you and email on 7/4/2020 and said you can have them all for free. Are you waiting for me to offer to pay you to take them off my hands? #ChangeTheName #TheTimeIsNow #NotYourMascot
— Martin McCaulay (@MartinMcCaulay) July 13, 2020
McCaulay, who has the Twitter handle @MartinMcCaulay, has been posting interviews with multiple publications about the trademarks and negative responses he’s been receiving from publications and people on social media. On Tuesday, he started tweeting answers to questions that reporters have been asking him.
“I never applied for a registration without a bona fide intent to use the product. Every time an application was approved I used that product in commerce.,” McCaulay tweeted. He also said that he never hired a trademark attorney because he didn’t want to “pay $400 an hour for mostly worthless trademarks.”
The actuary also tweeted that he believed that if he had “hoarded all the good names that would keep someone else who might be a pain in the neck from getting them.”
Hi everyone I need to clear something up. I want them to change the name and am embarrassed if I did anything that slows that down. I thought if I hoarded all the good names that would keep someone else who might be a pain in the neck from getting them.
— Martin McCaulay (@MartinMcCaulay) July 14, 2020
He also said that the NFL has not contacted him as of Tuesday morning.