Army sues Vegas hockey team over name, colors


Army says it has used the Golden Knights name since 1969 in connection with its parachute team and with recruiting, and that it owns "common law rights in color scheme black+gold/yellow+white".

The Las Vegas Golden Knights are responding to Army's opposition to the team's trademark.

In its filing, the Army says the NHL team "has chosen and used a similar black+gold/yellow+white color scheme on uniforms, marketing, advertisements and its hockey arena, mimicking the opposer's colors and further adding to the likelihood of confusion of the public".

Both the Army and The College of Saint Rose, which also filed an opposition to the trademark, needed to commit to action on the issue Thursday after a deadline was set back in October.

The United States Army Parachute Team is referred to as the Golden Knights, with that trademark officially registered.

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On Thursday, the NHL team released a statement "strongly disputing" the complaint, that read, in part: "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".

But the thriving expansion franchise is now facing its most hard opposition yet: the U.S. Army. The new filing was made on the last day of an extension that had been granted.

They've also produced several quotes showing that Golden Knights owner Bill Foley, a West Point graduate, patented many aspects of the team after the Army and their units. The Army's notice of opposition cites a June 2017 article in The Washington Post in which Golden Knights General Manager George McPhee mentions Foley's connection. After that, they'll have a long, arduous process in which they'll have to prove that their brand is not built around West Point. "So, these colors mean a lot to us".

The Golden Knights had until February 18 in order to officially respond to the complaints, per a schedule of deadlines included in the filing.

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. The franchise conducted a stirring tribute to the victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas prior to their home opener. Attendance has been strong, and the team has gained admiration from fans across the league.