The army claims the Knights’ logo is too similar to parachute team’s.
In one of the strangest pieces of sports news this year, the United States Army has filed an official complaint against the newest NHL team, the Las Vegas Golden Knights. According to the filing, the Army believes that it will be harmed or damaged by the team’s being allowed to trademark its name. The timing makes it all the stranger, as at the moment the Golden Knights are the best team in hockey.
The foundation of the Army’s argument is that their parachute team, the Army Golden Knights, along with its public relations campaigns have previous rights to the name and it would be detrimental to both if the NHL’s recent expansion franchise were allowed to trademark their name.
A team statement released by Las Vegas read, “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…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.”
Along with the name, the colour schemes of the jerseys are a point of contention as well. Black and gold in one version and white and yellow in another are similar to the uniforms worn by the parachute team and used in numerous Army advertising campaigns, and so allegedly contribute to the possibility of confusion.
The factor that makes much of this incomprehensible is Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley. Foley is a graduate of West Point, the Army’s renowned academy, and is a prominent donor to the school. Where this would make one think a connection was to be assumed, and potentially even capitalized upon by both parties as a marketing and boosting opportunity, instead it has been a confusing argument about who was called what in what colours first.
The Army’s action, officially a claim filed with the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, is not associated with West Point.