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The Vegas Golden Knights are having their nickname challenged at the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Per ESPN’s Darren Rovell, the United States Army filed a challenge to the appeal board, arguing the Golden Knights’ nickname is associated with the Army.
“Army says it has used the Golden Knights name since 1969 in connection with its parachute team and with recruiting,” Rovell wrote, “and that it owns ‘common law rights in color scheme black+gold/yellow+white.'”
Las Vegas was awarded an NHL expansion franchise in June 2016. Five months later, the franchise announced its nickname as the Golden Knights.
Golden Knights owner Bill Foley told ESPN’s Scott Burnside in December 2016 the team’s nickname is different from the Army parachutists who use the same name:
“Our development and use of the name Vegas Golden Knights was based upon Nevada being the largest gold producing state in the country and the golden tones of the Las Vegas strip.
“Our use of the Golden Knights is distinctive from the Army Golden Knights just as the N.Y. Rangers are distinctive from the Texas Rangers or the Arizona Cardinals are distinctive from the St. Louis Cardinals.”
Rovell noted last September the Army raised an objection to the team trademarking the Golden Knights nickname, and the notice of opposition cited a TSN tweet quoting Vegas general manager George McPhee specifically citing Army’s Golden Knights as an inspiration.
“We were going to be the Black Knights, but we already had the Blackhawks in the league, so the league was trying to get us to come up with another name, so another name used at West Point is the Golden Knights for the parachute team,” McPhee said.