August 9, 2017 - 11:18 am
Updated August 9, 2017 - 6:14 pm
The Vegas Golden Knights will get to keep their nickname.
The NHL expansion team was successful in its appeal to have its name trademarked after the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office gave approval for the team to continue to use its name for identification and competition purposes.
However, it did not grant the same approval for the team to protect its logo on its merchandise and sportswear. That trademark request is suspended pending further appeal. But it won’t prevent the team from using the logos in selling jerseys, hats and T-shirts.
“We’re happy,” team owner Bill Foley said. “We got what we wanted. We’ve got ‘Golden Knights’ for hockey and we knew it would work out.
“We’re not worried about the other issue. That will work itself out in time. But we’re not paying anyone anything.”
The team may not have trademark protection for its logos and merchandise. But it does have the NHL’s brand behind it, which means the Golden Knights’ team merchandise is protected under the league’s trademark banner.
Initially, the patent office denied the team’s trademark request in December, citing it might cause confusion with a college in New York that also had the Golden Knights nickname. The NHL expansion team appealed in early June and received its ruling late last Friday. Both “Vegas Golden Knights” and “Las Vegas Golden Knights” were approved for trademark registration.
“It’s always helpful if you are able to register your trademark as it gives you protection from third-party infringement,” said Ted Quirk, a lawyer who specializes in trademark law with the Las Vegas firm Greenberg Traurig.
“It’s a positive step forward for the team. But it’s not like acquiring a piece of land. The registration gives you presumptive benefits that the mark is valued and you have the right to go forward.”
As for trademarking clothing and merchandise, there is a rival application for “Las Vegas Black Knights” that still needs to be decided by the patent office examining attorneys and could remain in limbo for years. But there is nothing preventing the team from using and selling clothing with the Golden Knights’ team logo.
Contact Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow @stevecarprj on Twitter.