The U.S. Army has filed a notice of opposition with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office over the nickname of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The army’s parachute team is also known as the Golden Knights and the United States Military Academy at West Point uses a similar black and gold color scheme. Vegas owner Bill Foley is a West Point graduate and had long coveted Black Knights—the same nickname West Point’s athletic teams use—as the name of his expansion franchise. Foley’s financial services firm, Black Knight, Inc., also borrows West Point’s nickname. The hockey team’s parent company is Black Knight Sports and Entertainment.
Foley was dead set on incorporating Knights in the team’s name and eventually settled on Golden Knights after registering additional trademarks for Silver Knights and Desert Knights. The name was met with opposition almost immediately, though, when the USPTO denied the team’s trademark request due to possible confusing with the athletic teams of The College of Saint Rose in New York state.
“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 in a statement Thursday morning. “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.”
The College of Saint Rose and the army filed requests in October to extend the deadline for filing official complaints until Jan. 10. Vegas has until Feb. 19 to respond to the army’s complaint.