Ex-mayor of Bismark, ND trademarks alternatives to "Fighting Sioux" in bid to prevent UND team from switching to non-racist name

Marlan "Hawk" Haakenson used the state registry to claim Fighting Hawks, Nodaks, and North Stars in the mistaken belief that this would give him leverage to prevent the University of North Dakota from abandoning its racist "Fighting Sioux" team name. The NCAA has threated UND with sanctions if it doesn't change the team's name.

Haakenson doesn't understand trademark law, and he thought that registering a name with the state for his real-estate business would stop a sports team from using it. He was wrong. Haakenson is wrong about a lot of things.

Haakenson, who attended North Dakota State University but says he's a supporter of the Fighting Sioux nickname, said he registered the trade names Fighting Hawks, Nodaks and North Stars with the North Dakota Secretary of State in order to prevent UND from using them.

"As far as I'm concerned, Kelley will never get permission from me," Haakenson said. "I'll use every legal means I have to stop him from using the names."

Former Bismarck mayor registers trade names with state for 3 of 5 UND nickname options
[Andrew Sheeler/Bismarck Tribune]

(via /.)