On Jan. 25, Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LLC — owner of the Vegas Golden Knights — filed a “motion for suspension for settlement with consent” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The motion was granted, which means the company and the Army have until April 25 to settle the dispute out of court.
The motion, first reported by Sportslogos.net, was filed about two weeks after the Army officially challenged the hockey team on its name and color scheme.
In the Jan. 10 notice of opposition, the Army said it believes the service will be damaged if the Vegas Golden Knights are able to register their trademark.
The team had until Feb. 19 to respond to the notice of opposition.
The Las Vegas-based hockey team unveiled its name and logo in November 2016, and the Army wants to ensure there’s no confusion between the sports team and the United States Army Parachute team, which is known as the Golden Knights.
Although the Army Golden Knights haven’t trademarked the name, the Army said in the opposition that the “longstanding, widespread and continuous” use of the name, knight logo and black/gold and yellow/white color schemes has given the Army exclusive rights that predate any rights the hockey team can rely upon.
The service believes the public is likely to perceive the Army as sponsoring or being affiliated with the hockey team, according to the notice of opposition.
If the hockey team is allowed to register exclusive rights to “Las Vegas Golden Knights,” the Army said in the opposition, the public is likely to be confused as to whether the U.S. government or the Army “controls the quality and nature of the services or endorses or sponsors” the hockey team.
Bill Foley, owner of the Vegas Golden Knights and a 1967 West Point grad, told Army Times in a November 2016 interview that he was partial to using “Black Knights” for the hockey team. Black Knights is the name given to the United States Military Academy’s sports teams.
However, Foley said he received pushback from the Army. West Point’s sports teams also use a black/gold and yellow/white color scheme.
“The goal was to have ‘knights’ in the name,” Foley said.
Not only is “knights” a play on words for Vegas “nights,” Foley said, it represents the epitome of the warrior class.
The Vegas Golden Knights, which debuted in the 2017-18 NHL season, is at the top of their division with a 33-12-4 record.
The New York-based College of Saint Rose, whose mascot is the Golden Knight, filed an extension with the trademark office while they decide if they want to oppose the hockey team’s trademark application as well.