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.
In its filing, the Army says the NHL team "has chosen and used a similar black gold/yellow white color scheme on uniforms, marketing, advertisements and its hockey arena, mimicking the opposer's colors and further adding to the likelihood of confusion of the public". Vegas general manager George McPhee has said that the team colors are a nod to owner Bill Foley's alma mater and that the franchise might have been named the Black Knights if not for the Blackhawks already existing.
The Army has a parachute team that also goes by the Golden Knights.
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Per ESPN's Darren Rovell, the United States Army filed a challenge to the appeal board, arguing the Golden Knights' nickname is associated with the Army.
As first reported by SportsLogos.net, Wednesday marked a deadline for extensions filed by both the Army and the College of Saint Rose, whose sports teams are also called the Golden Knights, to potentially oppose the National Hockey League team's trademark registration.
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. Army is opposing the team's trademark, saying it is remarkably close to that of the university's parachute team also dubbed the Golden Knights. That said, in light of the pending trademark opposition proceedings, we will have no further comment at this time and will address the the Army's opposition in the relevant legal forums.
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"If they can show that consumers, in fact, are confused between the two things then that could be a problem but it's probably unlikely", Allen said, "Because the National Hockey League and all the teams under the National Hockey League spend so much on branding, and they are so highly visible, it's probably unlikely that there will be a showing of the likely hood of confusion among consumers, that a consumer will think that the hockey team is sponsored by the Army or that the Army is now somehow affiliated with the hockey team".
The NHL expansion franchise introduced its name and logos in November 2016, and the Army first expressed its opposition last September. "You know his history at West Point". You know about the classmates he had that he lost serving this country. "So, those colors mean a lot to us ..."
Back in October we had reported that both Army and The College of Saint Rose had requested an extension to the deadline to oppose the trademark, that deadline came today; Saint Rose requested another extension, the Army declared war. Rose, which also uses that nickname.
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