June 01, 2018

The Golden Knights are one step closer to securing the Stanley Cup and Federal Trademark Registration

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC

This hockey season, the Las Vegas Golden Knights have been fighting to establish their name in the National Hockey League . . . and with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). If you have no idea what I'm talking about, check out my post from January about "The Fight Over the "Golden Knights."

The Golden Knights have had a remarkable inaugural season and have battled their way into the Stanley Cup Final – where they are currently tied in the series with the Washington Capitals 1-1. The Golden Knights have already made history as being only the third team in NHL history to win multiple playoff series in their inaugural season – but they certainly don't want to stop there. Vegas is hoping its luck will help the Golden Knights become the first expansion team to ever win the Stanley Cup in its first season.

The team's streak of success begs one to wonder . . . will the Golden Knight's luck continue off the ice?

As previously discussed, both the College of Saint Rose and the United States Department of Army took issue with the Las Vegas Golden Knights' trademark applications. The College of Saint Rose feared confusion with its prior-registered mark for GOLDEN KNIGHTS THE COLLEGE OF SAINT ROSE. The Army feared confusion with its parachute team, nicknamed the "Golden Knights".

The Army filed its formal notice of opposition against the Golden Knights on January 10, 2018. The marks at issue are LAS VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (Serial No. 87147269) and VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS (Serial No. 87147239).

The College of Saint Rose requested an extension of time in which to file a formal notice of opposition to the Golden Knights' trademark application(s) back on January 8, 2018. The TTAB gave the College an extension through March 11, 2018 to oppose the marks. However, interestingly, the College of Saint Rose never filed a formal opposition.

With the College of Saint Rose out of the way, the Army is the last obstacle standing between the Golden Knights and a federal trademark registration. The most recent filing with the TTAB indicates that proceedings have been suspended through June 23, 2018. According to several sources, the parties have indicated that they are engaged in a series of negotiations as to a co-existence agreement – which would allow both parties to use the mark "Golden Knights" within their respective realms.

Will the Golden Knights be able to win this off-the-ice series? Only time will tell. Stay tuned for more updates!

P.S. Now that the Nashville Predators have been eliminated, I don't have a dog in the Stanley Cup fight and am not pulling for one team over the other. The Golden Knights have former Nashville Predator James Neal, and the Capitals are led by none other than Barry Trotz, who coached the Predators during their first 15 seasons. If the Preds can't win the Stanley Cup – then at least a team with Nashville ties can!