The Vegas Golden Knights are being all they can be on the ice, but the U.S. Army is moving forward in its attempt to hand the wildly successful NHL expansion franchise a rare defeat this season.
The Department of the Army filed a formal opposition by Wednesday’s deadline against the Vegas team’s ownership with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office over the use of the Golden Knights’ trademark and moniker, as the Army’s official aerial parachute demonstration squad also is known as the Golden Knights.
“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 NHL’s Golden Knights said Thursday in a statement. “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.
“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.”
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The NHL team has until Feb. 19 to respond to the notice or risk having to forfeit any trademarks related to the name.
The Army has cited multiple grounds of opposition in its claim — most notably dilution, false suggestion of connection and the potential of being brought into disrepute. The Army “believes it will be damaged,” the filing states, also noting the similar color scheme in the team’s uniforms and merchandising.
The website sportslogos.net first reported on the Army’s filing of the claim on Wednesday.
The College of Saint Rose in Albany, whose school nickname also is the Golden Knights, reportedly has requested an extension to determine whether it will file a similar action against the NHL club.
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The Vegas Golden Knights originally were to be named the Black Knights, but team owner Bill Foley has acknowledged that West Point parachute team served as an inspiration for the switch of the first-year team’s nickname.
The surprising Golden Knights own the NHL’s second-best record at the midpoint of their inaugural NHL campaign at 29-10-2 (60 points), including a league-best 18-2-1 home mark.
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