Army sues Vegas hockey team over name, colors

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"In the Patent and Trademark Office, the U.S. Army filed its opposition to the Vegas Golden Knights' applications to register the trademark VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS used in connection with the sport of hockey".

The Department of the Army filed a formal opposition on Wednesday with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office against the Vegas Golden Knights' ownership group, Black Knight Sports and Entertainment, for using a similar team name - "the Golden Knights" - and a similar color pattern.

The lawyer wrote that the hockey team's name and mark are "confusingly similar in sound, meaning and appearance" to its own, that the team's similar color scheme adds to the "likelihood of confusion", and that the Army would be damaged if the mark is registered because it would "falsely suggest a connection" between the Army and the hockey team. Sportslogos.net was the first to report the filing. As evidence, it listed an appearance by Vegas General Manager George McPhee on a sports radio show, in which he said that his expansion franchise wanted to use the name "Black Knights" but were deterred "because we already had the Blackhawks in the league", so they went with Golden Knights while knowing it was the name of the parachute team.

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Photo The shoulder patch recognizing the Golden Knights parachute team.

The hockey team noted in its statement that other Golden Knights trademark owners had also coexisted with the Army without problems. "That said, in light of the pending trademark opposition proceedings, we will have no further comment at this time and will address the Army's opposition in the relevant legal forums". After that, they'll have a long, arduous process in which they'll have to prove that their brand is not built around West Point.

After the Army's concerns first surfaced in November 2016, Mr. Foley told The Las Vegas Review-Journal the team did not check with the Army on the name Golden Knights because "our lawyers and the N.H.L.'s lawyers didn't feel we needed to". You know about the classmates he had that he lost serving this country. The Army began this process back in September 2017, but finally gained enough traction Wednesday.

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A panel of administrative trademark judges from the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board is set to eventually rule on the dispute, but that could take some time. "So, those colors mean a lot to us ..." National Hockey League deputy commissioner Bill Daly responded by saying "it is not our intention to reconsider the name or logo of this franchise".

It's all pretty weird, both because you'd have thought the Golden Knights could have sorted this out before it became a problem and, well, that the Army might have used some common sense. The franchise conducted a stirring tribute to the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas prior to their home opener.

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