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NHL’s Golden Knights resolve trademark dispute with US Army

NHL ice hockey franchise the Vegas Golden Knights will retain its identity following the closure of a trademark battle with the United States Army.

The Golden Knights, which enjoyed a hugely successful debut season in 2017-18, said it has reached a trademark coexistence agreement with the Army regarding the name and logo.

The Army in January filed a formal opposition with the U.S. Trademark and Patent Office. In its opposition, filed against the team’s Black Knights Sports and Entertainment ownership group, the Department of Army said that the Golden Knights was using a similar name and colour scheme to its military branch. The filing listed dilution, false suggestion of connection and the possibility of being brought into disrepute as the three key grounds of dispute.

The U.S. Army Parachute Team is known as the Golden Knights, while the Army’s athletics teams are called the Black Knights. In addition, the Army said the NHL franchise’s black and gold, and yellow and white colour schemes clashed with its own pattern.

The U.S. Army filing said that it owned “common law rights in colour scheme black+gold/yellow+white”, adding that its parachute division has gone by the name of the Golden Knights since 1969.

The team had contested that notion, stating there could be no confusion between an ice hockey team playing indoors and a parachute squad that performs outdoors. In a statement, Golden Knights team owner Bill Foley said: “We are pleased that we have agreed to coexist regarding the use of the ‘Golden Knights’ mark and name.

“Our discussions with the Army were collaborative and productive throughout this entire process. We are appreciative of their efforts and commitment to reaching an amicable resolution.”

The Golden Knights reached the Stanley Cup Finals in their inaugural season, only to eventually lose out to the Washington Capitals.