US Army Goes to War With Professional Hockey Team

It's upset over use of 'Golden Knights' by Las Vegas NHL team
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 11, 2018 6:06 PM CST
Vegas Golden Knights players celebrate their 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers following an NHL hockey game Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018, in Las Vegas.   (AP Photo/L.E. Baskow)

(Newser) – The US Army has filed a challenge opposing the application of the NHL's newest franchise to register the trademark "Vegas Golden Knights," the AP reports. In a claim filed Wednesday with the US Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, the Army claims it will be damaged if the trademark is registered and says it has acquired exclusive rights to it that predate any rights claimed by the NHL team. 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.

The filing also says the NHL team's choice of black-and-gold and yellow-and-white color schemes for its uniforms, advertising and marketing adds "to the likelihood of confusion of the public" because the same colors are used on the uniforms worn by West Point's hockey team and the paint scheme on the building where they play. Vegas owner Bill Foley is a graduate of academy and a significant donor. The team issued a statement Thursday in response. "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 team said. "Indeed, the two entities have been coexisting without any issues for over a year ... 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."

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