The newest addition to the National Hockey League has taken the hockey world by storm. In its inaugural year, the Golden Knights have accomplished the unexpected, which is dominating the league in its first year.
Currently sitting at the number two spot for the league rankings, the Golden Knights haven’t had any issues knocking down any opponent in its way. However, that is on the ice, but off the ice, the Golden Knights have been faced with a different type of challenger, and that is the United States Army.
The saga between the two started back in September 2017 when the army originally filed a complaint against the Golden Knights. To kick off the new year, the Army took the feud to the next level, filing a trademark opposition with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board against the two trademark applications for the Las Vegas Golden Knights and the Vegas Golden Knights.
In the filing, the Army claims it believes it will be damaged’ by the registration of the mark, that they have long used the mark since at least the late sixties in connection with its U.S. Army Parachute Team, as well as for recruiting efforts, and public relations for the U.S. Military.
The tension between the two seems to be slowly becoming under control as they are making strides to settle. The Vegas Golden Knights filed a “Motion for Suspension for Settlement With Consent” and according to multiple reports, the new hockey franchise is in negotiations with the Army.
It has been reported that the Army fears that consumers will be confused by the similarity of the trademarks, and will believe that the NHL’s newest expansion team is affiliated with the Army.
Both organizations use the name “Golden Knights” for sports purposes. Army Golden Knights is a parachute team, and the Vegas Golden Knights are currently the leaders for the NHL western conference.
Not only does the Army believe it has the right to the trademarked name, but also the Gold and Black color scheme. Army’s West Point, Black Knight Hockey team uses the colors black+gold or the white+ yellow for its uniforms.
Bill Foley, the owner of the Vegas Golden Knights is a graduate of the US Military Academy in West Point, NY. Hence, the reason why the Army believes the branding of the NHL franchise was influenced by the Golden Knights Parachute team.
Vegas Golden Knights responded to the allegations with a snarky comment, stating that the organization has not received a single complaint from consumers attending a professional hockey game, expecting to see the parachute team.
Since Las Vegas has filed a motion for settlement, the two parties have a chance to negotiate before having to settle it with the USPTO. The time limit for the negotiations is 90 days, and the deadline to respond is April 25.
Despite the off the ice issues, the Vegas Golden Knights continue to strive in the NHL and has set the bar to make an appearance in the post season. Hopefully before the deadline the Army and the Vegas Golden Knight organization can reach a settlement and end their current quarrel.
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