Golden Knights and U.S. Army’s Parachute Team Resolve Trademark Matter
When the 2017-18 NHL schedule commenced, one could say the word “no” surrounded the Vegas Golden Knights, as in they—being an expansion team minus a captain, an identity and any supposed star player—would have zero hope of escaping the sort of wretched campaign that typically befalls a first-year team. The Western Conference squad, which certainly surprised the hockey world and sports universe by advancing to the Stanley Cup Finals, had also entered its inaugural season without a trademark, owing to a dispute with the United States Army. On July 19, however, the club cleared the path to enhance its NHL branding standing, establishing a “coexistence agreement” that will let it and the Army's parachute team make dual use of the “Golden Knights” identifier.
The matter between the unlikely ice heroes and the Army has provided us with ample occasions to document the hopes and gripes of the parties. Our most recent investigation in January mentioned that the filing against the Golden Knights and subsequent ordeal might stretch out 18 more months. Though each litigant had made clear that it would not back down, it seemed, that the combatants could resolve the dispute relatively fast. We have found our curiosity particularly piqued over the legal confrontation because the Golden Knights, through Black Knight Sports and Entertainment, had been hoping to pay the Army homage since their chairman and CEO Bill Foley graduated from West Point, the service academy that yields the Army’s personnel, in 1967.
NEWS: The Golden Knights and U.S. Army have entered into a trademark coexistence agreement regarding usage of the 'Golden Knights' mark & namehttps://t.co/czPMZuxjAK
— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) July 19, 2018
No matter his affiliation, not to mention his sizable support of the Army, which ESPN reported includes a $15 million donation that led to the eponymous naming of the military entity’s athletic center in 2007, his alma mater had fought hard to keep the hockey from laying claim to the title by which its parachute team has gone since 1969. The Army had been contending that the public could confuse the aerial performers with the athletes because of the shared name and the hockey team’s decision to use “a similar black and gold/yellow and white color scheme on uniforms.” Six months after the two had appeared destined for a lengthy dustup, though, they have decided that no such puzzlement is likely to occur, with Sports Illustrated quoting Foley as saying that “collaborative and productive” discussions between the sides led to an agreement “to coexist regarding the use of the ‘Golden Knights’ mark and name.”
As the Golden Knights proved a great source of emotional fervor and an even larger mover of merchandise this past season, expect for the franchise to promote itself even more ambitiously since, according to a trademark firm quoted by ESPN, the trademark will likely become registered within 60 days, or just short of the start of the 2018-19 season. Thanks to that timing, it seems that Vegas, long associated with consumers’ aspirations for considerable payouts, could hit another promotional jackpot come the fall.