Las Vegas Golden Knights Upset US Army as Much as NHL Opponents, as Trademark Battle Ensues

Posted on: January 14, 2018, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: January 12, 2018, 01:37h.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights’ surprising performance this season has far exceeded expectations. In fact, the team has been the shock of the NHL season. It currently holds the second-best record in the league and has been knocking sports books on their derrieres.

Las Vegas Golden Knights logo controversy
The distinctive Las Vegas Golden Knights logo has created a massive and popular line of merchandise for the NHL team, including everything from dog dresses to ladies boots. But the US Army claims trademark infringement on its parachute team of the same name and colors. (Image:

But along with upsetting their opposing teams, the Sin City pro hockey team has another adversary to contend with in the US Army, which is locking blades over who can use the name “Golden Knights.”

The skirmish turned into an all-out war on Thursday, as the Army filed paperwork with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, objecting to the team’s name. The military branch disputes the expansion team’s use of not only the name, but the colors of black and gold on its uniforms, noting that both have been the military’s official parachute team moniker and color scheme since the 1960s.

As it turns out, the coincidence isn’t so much of one. Golden Knights owner Bill Foley is a graduate of West Point and a donor to his alma mater. He said he was inspired by the institution when the team came up with its name.

But the Army insists that the name creates confusion with its own elite branch.

The hockey club,however, was unwavering in its response to the Army’s allegations.

“ …  the two entities have been coexisting without any issues for over a year … and we are not aware of a single complaint from anyone attending our games that they were expecting to see the parachute team and not a professional hockey game,” the statement read, reflecting the snark that typically appears in the team’s tweets to its opponents.

The team is not concerned over the possibility of having to change its name, saying it’s a non-issue. Peter Sadowski, the team’s executive vice president and chief legal officer told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that it won’t happen.

“There is no danger of the team losing its name or logo,” he said.

But the Army is soldiering on in its quest to force the issue and make the team lose this jousting match. The team has until Feb. 2 to formally respond to the notice of opposition. It’s a battle that could drag on for some time. The deadline for the team to request an oral hearing with the trademark office isn’t until July 24, 2019.

Surprising Inaugural Season for Las Vegas Golden Knights

Before the season began, oddsmakers set the over-under for victories for the Knights at 24 ½. The team reached that mark with a victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Dec. 28, well before the halfway mark of the season was reached.

The team has also had its odds adjusted for both its potential to win the Stanley Cup and the Western Conference. The Westgate LV SuperBook opened them as a 200-1 long shot to win the championship, the highest odds of any of the 31 teams. After compiling a 22-9 record over the first two months, the odds were adjusted to 14-1, behind only six teams. In January, the Knights dropped even lower, to 10-1.

The Westgate also changed their chances for Vegas winning the Western Conference. In June, the Knights were last, at 100-1. In December, they dropped to 7-1. Only the Nashville Predators and St. Louis Blues now have lower odds. The Predators are the favorites at 4-1 and the Blues are at 6-1. The Knights are now at 9-2.