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U.S. Justice Department to intervene in Washington Redskins trademark dispute

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder walks across the

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder walks across the field before a preseason game against the against the Baltimore Ravens. (Aug. 25, 2011) Credit: AP

WASHINGTON - The Justice Department says it is intervening in a trademark dispute concerning the team name of the Washington Redskins.

A June ruling from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office stripped the professional football team of trademark protection,

The NFL team, which has sought to defend the name against those who consider it a racial slur, has appealed that ruling.

In a court filing Friday, the Justice Department did not take a position on the appropriateness of the name, though Attorney General Eric Holder has previously said he agrees with those who want it changed.

Instead, the department says it's joining the fight to defend the federal law that the Redskins are challenging in this case.

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