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Speedracer

Army challenges Golden Knights trademark; Vegas responds

11 posts in this topic

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On the ice the Vegas Golden Knights are one of the most fascinating stories the NHL has ever seen.

A first-year expansion team that is contention for the league’s best record at the halfway point and is almost certain to make the playoffs, something no recent expansion team has ever been close to doing.

They are also pretty fascinating off the ice as they now find themselves in an ongoing legal battle with the United States Army over their name, logo and color scheme.

On Wednesday it was reported that the Army has officially filed a notice of opposition against Black Knight Sports and Entertainment over the use of the name “Golden Knights.”

It’s been known for more than a year now that the Army was not thrilled with the Golden Knights name as it is also the name of their parachute team, and now they are officially fighting it.

Vegas owner Bill Foley is a graduate of West Point and originally wanted to name the expansion team the Black Knights (after the Army sports teams) but decided against it. In its official filing of opposition the Army uses several quotes from Golden Knights general manager George McPhee talking about the team’s name and color scheme, including this during an appearance on TSN radio in Vancouver last November.

“We were going to be the Black Knights but there’s already a Blackhawks in the league … so another name used at West Point is ‘Golden Knights’ for the parachute team.”

Chris Creamer of Sportslogos.net spoke to an attorney that said the Army’s case is “at least as good as the challenge” that forced the Jacksonville Jaguars to change their logo in 1995 after it was challenged by the Jaguar Motor Company.

On Thursday, the Golden Knights issued a statement in response to the opposition filed by the Army and included a little bit of snark (bolded for emphasis).

“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.  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.  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.”

[H/T SportsLogos.net]

In typical fashion, the government is only NOW issuing a challenge to the nickname.

Personal opinion, it will be upheld. Or at worst "Golden" will be removed.

BTW: I have yet to see the Navy issue a challenge to Pensacola for using F-16s or Blue Angels on their logos...

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2 hours ago, Speedracer said:

... BTW: I have yet to see the Navy issue a challenge to Pensacola for using F-16s or Blue Angels on their logos...

USAF flies F-16s, not USN.  The Navy & their Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron fly F/A-18s, which do not (quite) match the planform of the aircraft image in the Ice Flyers' primary logo.  Their secondary logo comes closer, but it would be difficult to support a USN legal argument based solely on the display of a shoulder patch on the jerseys of 18 minor league hockey players (and several dozen of their fans walking to/from their cars @ PCC on weekends).  The legal basis of the U.S. Army's challenge is far stronger, as they are opposing a Vegas trademark claim of a widely recognized name ("Golden Knights") and commercial imagery utilizing equivalent colors to the existing "Golden Knights" that together stand to yield the hockey team owners substantial financial gains.  Yes, it's all about the money.

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I expect the Vegas team's argument to be persuasive. There's no cross-over between a military group and a sports team. I believe in the end they will come to an agreement. 

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12 minutes ago, ShaunS said:

... I believe in the end they will come to an agreement. 

Like 6 U.S. Army promotional nights per season at no cost to the U.S. taxpayers for the life of the Vegas franchise?  think.gif

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I don't know why they aren't all over the idea of partnering up anyway. Good publicity for the team and army.

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Maybe Bill Foley II didn't vote the right way in the 2016 election.

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F/A 18s. I should have caught that my bad. I do know the difference. No disrespect intended.

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I was referring to the old (godawful fugly) logo BTW:

:IceFlyersOldLogo:

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1 minute ago, Speedracer said:

F/A 18s. I should have caught that my bad. I do know the difference. No disrespect intended.

None taken.  I was just trying to set the public record straight.

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2 minutes ago, Speedracer said:

I was referring to the old (godawful fugly) logo BTW:

:IceFlyersOldLogo:

Yeah, that woulda never gone unchallenged in today's litigious environment.  Though that logo & related I'Flyers imagery has always had me wondering if there was some business agreement in place between the parties at the time the logo was adopted.  Slightly safer to depict the squadron in the logo than to stage a "flyover" inside the arena for publicity.  :dontgetit:

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I bought a ticket and attended the Rangers versus Golden Knights in Vegas last Sunday.  I expected to see combat between the elite rapid deployment force of the US Army and the Army's elite parachute demonstration team.  Sadly it was just an NHL game.  The parachute team won 2-1.

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