The U.S. Army has filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the nickname of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The notice was filed Wednesday and was first brought to light by SportsLogos.net at the beginning of the saga when the expansion team was welcomed in the NHL. The notice states the the army “believes it will be damaged” by the team’s use of the name and logos.
“We strongly dispute the Army’s allegations that confusion is likely between the Army Golden Knights parachute team and the Vegas Golden Knights major-league hockey team,” the team responded in a statement Thursday morning. “Indeed, the two entities have been coexisting without any issues for over a year (along with several other Golden Knights trademark owners) and we are not aware of a single complaint from anyone attending our games that they were expecting to see the parachute team and not a professional hockey game.”
The army’s parachute team is also known as the Golden Knights and the United States Military Academy at West Point uses a similar black and gold color scheme.
Vegas owner Bill Foley is a West Point graduate and first wanted to name his team the Black Knights—the same nickname West Point’s athletic teams use. Foley’s financial services firm, Black Knight, Inc., also borrows West Point’s nickname. The hockey team’s parent company is Black Knight Sports and Entertainment.
Foley always seemed to want to incorporate Knights in the team’s name and eventually settled on Golden Knights after registering additional trademarks for Silver Knights and Desert Knights before the club's debut. The names were also met with controversy and opposition almost immediately, when the USPTO denied the team’s trademark request due to possible confusing with the athletic teams of The College of Saint Rose in New York state.
The College of Saint Rose and the army filed requests in October to extend the deadline for filing official complaints until Jan. 10. Vegas has until Feb. 19 to respond to the army’s complaint.
To be continued...