US Army challenging nickname of NHL's Las Vegas franchise

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And now, if the U.S. Army has its way, the Golden Knights might have to pick a new name.

The Department of the Army filed a formal opposition by Wednesday's deadline against the Vegas team's ownership with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office over the use of the Golden Knights' trademark and moniker, as the Army's official aerial parachute demonstration squad also is known as the Golden Knights.

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 Army first filed its complaint in September 2017.

Its contention? That the name "Golden Knights" belongs to its parachute hockey team.

The Army also took issue with the Golden Knights' color scheme, saying that their "black+gold/yellow+white" is a violation of the "common law rights" the Black Knights have established.

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In its filing, the Army points to an article in the Washington Post in June in which the team's general manager, George McPhee, makes the connection. While the college, which competes at the Division II level, has reportedly asked for another extension, the Las Vegas squad will have 40 days to officially respond to the Army's notice of opposition. That said, in light of the pending trademark opposition proceedings, we will have no further comment at this time and will address the the Army's opposition in the relevant legal forums. You know his history at U.S. Military Academy. You know about the classmates he had lost serving this country.

The Vegas Golden Knights originally were to be named the Black Knights, but team owner Bill Foley has acknowledged that West Point parachute team served as an inspiration for the switch of the first-year team's nickname. "So, those colors mean a lot to us ..."

Speaking with an attorney who wished to remain anonymous but added they had "more than a passing interest in sports logos and design"; they felt that Army's case was "at least as good as the challenge that caused the Jags to change their marks in 95", referring to the Jacksonville Jaguars who were forced to change their original team logos by the Jaguar Motor Company prior to their inaugural season in the National Football League twenty-three years ago.

One reason for the team's success is its near ideal 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. The Golden Knights endeared themselves to the league with a classy tribute to the victims of October's Las Vegas shooting before their home opener.