Las Vegas’ expansion NHL team, the Vegas Golden Knights, hasn’t even played a game, but they’ve already suffered their first loss. The franchise, which announced its new name and logo two weeks ago, was denied its trademark application by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
“We consider this a routine matter, and it is not our intention to reconsider the name or logo of this franchise,” NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly told ESPN. “We fully intend to proceed as originally planned, relying on our common law trademark rights as well as our state trademark registrations while we work through the process of addressing the question raised in the federal applications.”
The patent office rejected the application because the team name is the same as that at the College of Saint Rose in New York. The documents detail concerns that the logos and stylizations are too siminar.
“There are countless examples of college sports teams and professional sports teams with coexisting names, including Vegas Golden Knights and Clarkson Golden Knights, UCLA Bruins and Boston Bruins, U of Miami Hurricanes and Carolina Hurricanes, etc. We will plan on making these arguments and others in our detailed written response to the office action,” the franchise said in a statement to Sports Illustrated. “Office actions like this are not at all unusual, and we will proceed with the help of outside counsel in preparing a response to this one.”
The Knights and owner Bill Foley have until June 7 to respond to the denial and detail why the name should be registered despite its similarities with the college team.
The College of Saint Rose registered its trademark in 2004 and does not have a hockey team.
“We have a registered trademark. We love the name,” David Alexander, assistant athletic director for communications at the College of Saint Rose, told ESPN. “Fifteen years ago, we redesigned the logo and wanted a trademark to specifically protect our brand. The logo represents the spirit of the school.”
Clarkson University in New York has a hockey team also nicknamed the Golden Knights, but it is not trademarked.
Featured photo credit: SportsLogos.Net News.
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