A prominent Montgomery County businessman and neighbor to Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has created a business called the "Washington Brave Hearts," leading to speculation from TMZ.com that Snyder may be bowing to public pressure to change the team's name.
However, Redskins spokesman Tony Wyllie quickly threw cold water on the theory. "There is no connection between the registering of this trademark and the Washington Redskins," he told me.
On Oct. 17, Aris Mardirossian signed as registered agent for a newly created Maryland business called "Washington Brave Hearts LLC." On the same date, Donna Bunton, a lawyer for Nixon & Vanderhye PC in Arlington, filed a trademark for the name "Washington Bravehearts" at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
The trademark application reads "Entertainment in the nature of football games" and it's tied to a P.O. box in Potomac.
Mardirossian and Snyder are neighbors, and they both made news when they moved to cut down trees on their properties near the C&O Canal (Snyder in 2004 and Mardirossian in 2007.) Nevertheless, the two men do not know each other, Wyllie said.
Mardirossian, founder of Technology Patents LLC, was inducted into a newly created Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame in 2012. He's also been an investor in real estate projects and was a commencement speaker at the University of Maryland in 2011, where he attended.
Native American groups and others are trying to pressure Snyder to change the Redskins' racially inflammatory nickname, and while he's been slightly more conciliatory recently on the subject, has given no indication that he's doing so.
TMZ first reported the developments, but we've independently obtained the documents via Maryland business records and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
We're calling around to find out more and will update if we uncover any new information.
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