Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law

Vegas Golden Knights still facing trademark concerns

Hockey fans in New Jersey and across the United States have watched the first-year Vegas Golden Knights successfully make their way to the Stanley Cup Finals. Though they're playing for their first championship, the Golden Knights are still officially registering their name and logos with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Two other entities initially complained about copyright issues when the Vegas Golden Knights first announced their team name and logo. The College of St. Rose, which initially opposed the name, is nicknamed the Golden Knights. The school never filed a formal complaint, however. The U.S. Army has a parachute team named the Golden Knights. They are working with the team on an amicable solution to the concern.

The Vegas Golden Knights are not the only team currently in a trademark battle. The Baltimore Ravens have been accused of not giving credit to the person who designed their logo. A Baltimore security guard claims he originally designed the logo and has never received credit or compensation. The copyright lawsuit against the Ravens was filed in 2012 and is still being negotiated.

When a business entity files for a trademark or logo that is similar to another, the entity that holds the original copyright or trademark can lodge a formal complaint. Copyright lawyers could then negotiate to find a solution to the concern. While many suits are able to be resolved without a trial, sometimes court action is necessary to reach a solution. In the case of the Vegas Golden Knights, a co-existence agreement, an agreement where two parties acknowledge the similar logos or trademarks in order to prevent future issues from arising, could be filed by an intellectual property lawyer. Because it is unlikely that the U.S. Army parachute team and the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team will be confused with one another, experts believe it is likely that the co-existence agreement will resolve the trademark concerns.

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Benjamin Appelbaum, Attorney at Law - Intellectual Property

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