The Vegas Golden Knights, in its inaugural season as a National Hockey League team, is in first place in the Western Conference. Its home games sell out, its merchandise flies off the shelves, and two players, Marc-Andre Fleury and James Neal, are going to the All-Stars.
But all is not golden. The U.S. Army has just filed a formal complaint about the Vegas Golden Knights’ name and team colors, saying they are too similar to those of the Army’s parachute team.
“We strongly dispute the Army’s allegations that confusion is likely between the Army Golden Knights parachute team and the Vegas Golden Knights major-league hockey team,” the Vegas Golden Knights said in a statement to CNBC. “Indeed, the two entities have been coexisting without any issues for over a year (along with several other Golden Knights trademark owners)….”
The NHL told CNBC, “We believe the underlying rationale of the Army’s opposition isn’t valid as a legal matter, and we intend to fully support Vegas’ efforts to clarify their rights.”
For its part, the Army said the complaint is part of a dispute resolution.
“The U.S. Army has been working with the team and the NHL for over a year to resolve any potential trademark issues,” Alison Bettencourt, director of public affairs for the Army Marketing and Research Group, told CNBC. “The legal action taken on Wednesday is part of the normal legal process and was necessary to protect the U.S. Army’s rights as we continue to resolve any potential trademark disputes.”