The National Hockey League (NHL) completed its expansion draft last week to set the roster for the its new team, the Vegas Golden Knights. The team has opened its official store “The Armory” at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and launched merchandise sales on the NHL Shop website. Yet, the Golden Knights team still does not officially have a trademark registration for its name.
Last December, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued an office action against the team’s application for the word mark VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS. The Examiner rejected the application on the basis that registration of the mark would introduce a likelihood of confusion with existing trademark GOLDEN KNIGHTS THE COLLEGE OF SAINT ROSE. The team filed a 41-page response to the office action on 6 June 2017, arguing that there would be no likelihood of confusion since sports fans (and the general public) have long been accustomed to distinguishing between teams using the same or similar nicknames. For example, the NHL’s Florida Panthers and the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers are both known as the “Panthers”.
The trademark application for the distinctive “V” embedded in the Vegas Golden Knight’s helmet has been allowed by the USPTO. This means that the new NHL team will have the protection of a registered trademark for their logo, regardless of the outcome of their application to register the VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS word marks. Read more here.