NHL's Golden Knights clap back at Army over trademark complaint
Army filed an opposition to the use of 'Golden Knights' on the last day that it was permitted to do so
On Wednesday, the Department of the Army filed a formal opposition against the Vegas Golden Knights' ownership group, Black Knight Sports and Entertainment, with the United States Trademark and Patent Office for the use of the Golden Knights' moniker. According to sportslogos.net, Army and the College of Saint Rose requested extensions to the deadline to contest the name earlier this year. The College of Saint Rose requested another extension, as Wednesday was the final day, but Army decided to formally contest the trademark.
Army has listed three grounds of opposition, including dilution, false suggestion of connection, and the possibility of being brought into disrepute. Army "believes it will be damaged," according to the filing, and mentioned the similar color scheme.
Initially, the Vegas hockey team was to be called the "Black Knights" (which surely wouldn't have spawned thousands of Monty Python jokes), but ultimately moved towards the Golden Knights. The United States Army Parachute Team is referred to as the Golden Knights, with that trademark officially registered, while the Black Knights, of course, is also the name of Army's athletic teams. Golden Knights' owner Bill Foley has even said that West Point was his inspiration.
"We were going to be the Black Knights but there's already a Blackhawks in the league," Foley told TSN Radio Vancouver in November. "So another name used at West Point is 'Golden Knights' for the parachute team." Army references this in its opposition.
The Golden Knights have until Feb. 19 to respond to this notice, or they may have to forfeit the trademark. 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. An attorney told sportslogos.net that this case is no joke. "They make at very least a prima facie case that the marks and colours were intended to conjure imagery of the USMA which may be enough to get a trial court to side with the Army," the anonymous attorney said. "This is by no means a frivolous case."
The Golden Knights, however, seem to disagree regarding the frivolity of the case. The team's response is not treating this matter with the dignity that the aforementioned attorney seems to think it deserves. As the main part of the Army complaint seems to refer to the Army Parachute Team, Vegas doesn't see where anyone can get confused.
Foley registered numerous trademarks for the team, including the Silver Knights and the Desert Knights. If worse comes to worst, he may not need to forgo the Knights' moniker entirely, but if Army has its way then the Golden Knights may not be long for the NHL.
CBS Sports HQ Daily Newsletter
Get the best highlights and stories - yeah, just the good stuff handpicked by our team to start your day.
Thanks for signing up!
Keep an eye on your inbox for the latest sports news.
There was an error processing your subscription.
The team will wear the jersey on a limited basis in 2019-2020
Larkin is poised to take the reigns from Henrik Zetterberg in the not-too-distant future
Imagining what each NHL team would look like if it morphed into another company
Mikita, who has a statue outside the United Center, still holds numerous Blackhawks record...
It had a salt rim and everything
Hopefully Vonn is OK after an ugly entry into the water