US Army challenges nickname of NHL's expansion Vegas franchise


The United States army has taken issue with the Vegas Golden Knights' team name, filing a challenge to the country's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board on Wednesday, according to various reports. "Indeed, the two entities have been peacefully coexisting without any issues for over a year (along with 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 a parachute team and not a professional hockey game".

The Army says it has used the Golden Knights nickname since the late 1960s for its parachute team, public relations and recruiting, and claims it owns "common law rights" for the color schemes that combine black and gold and yellow and white.

"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". The Army began this process back in September 2017, but finally gained enough traction Wednesday.

Bill Foley, the owner of the Vegas Golden Knights and a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, reportedly considered naming the franchise the "Black Knights", which is Army's nickname for athletic teams at West Point.

The Army believes that the team's logo and the name is a direct reflection of its U.S. Army Parachute team.

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I reached out to the Golden Knights (uh, the hockey one) seeking a comment but had not received one by the time I finished writing this post.

On Thursday, the NHL team released a statement "strongly disputing" the complaint, that read, in part: "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". They released this statement following the Army's opposition. Peter Sadowski, the team's executive vice president and chief legal officer, said fans need not worry about a name change. The folks at West Point feel it's too much like the Army Black Knights logo. "So, those colors mean a lot to us". "It's clean, it's symmetrical, it's kind of bold, and again it stands for something".

"There is no danger of the team losing its name or logo", he said. The new filing was made on the last day of an extension that had been granted.

The Golden Knights had until February 18 in order to officially respond to the complaints, per a schedule of deadlines included in the filing.