Hockey’s Golden Knights, Named to Avoid Trademark Dispute, Face Trademark Dispute

Hockey’s Golden Knights, Named to Avoid Trademark Dispute, Face Trademark Dispute

The lawyer wrote that the hockey team’s name and mark are “confusingly similar in sound, meaning and appearance” to its own, that the team’s similar color scheme adds to the “likelihood of confusion,” and that the Army would be damaged if the mark is registered because it would “falsely suggest a connection” between the Army and the hockey team.


The shoulder patch recognizing the Golden Knights parachute team.

In a statement, the hockey organization said: “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,” the statement continued, “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.”

The hockey team noted in its statement that other Golden Knights trademark owners had also coexisted with the Army without problems. (Reports say that the hockey team cleared its name with Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y., which uses the Golden Knights name, as well as the University of Central Florida.)

After the Army’s concerns first surfaced in November 2016, Mr. Foley told The Las Vegas Review-Journal the team did not check with the Army on the name Golden Knights because “our lawyers and the N.H.L.’s lawyers didn’t feel we needed to.”

“I have great respect for the Golden Knights parachute team,” he added in his interview with the newspaper. “In fact, I tried to incorporate them into the ceremony last week, but we couldn’t make it work.”

Mr. Foley did not appear to specify why.

The off-ice dispute disrupts what has otherwise been a smooth and surprisingly hot start to the hockey team’s inaugural season. Despite being an expansion team, the Golden Knights have somehow managed to climb to the top of their division and position themselves for a run in the playoffs.

One reason for the team’s success is its near perfect record at home in Las Vegas; as of Thursday, the team had won 18 games on home ice while losing only twice and tying once. Some have speculated that the Golden Knights have been aided there by the “Vegas flu” — a malady that infects opposing players who stay out later than they would in other cities, gambling or seeing a show.

For their part, the Army’s Golden Knights say they have earned 2,148 gold, 1,117 silver, and 693 bronze medals in national and international competition.

In fact, the Army’s website says the accolades influenced how the team chose its name decades ago: “Golden” stood for the gold medals the team had won and “Knights” conveyed the team’s ambition “to conquer the skies.”

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