Las Vegas’ Golden Knights Finally Reveal Name & Logo

Las Vegas Golden KnightsIt’s been in the works for some time now, but the NHL’s new Las Vegas franchise finally revealed its team name: Golden Knights. NHL.com noted majority owner Bill Foley unveiled the nickname at the Toshiba Plaza in Vegas on Nov. 22. 

Originally, the team was supposed to unveil its nickname in September, but at the time, Foley said the franchise would hold off announcing the trademark, according to NHL.com. Settling on “Golden Knights” was a lengthy process, one marked by multiple trademark applications.

The Golden Knights’ trademark journey 

What were the other team name options? IPWatchdog noted the consortium that owns the Vegas franchise, Black Knight Sports and Entertainment, filed 12 trademark applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office before choosing a name Sept. 14. There the top three choices were:

1) Golden Knights

2) Silver Knights

3) Desert Knights 

IP Watchdog noted the team had filed two distinct U.S. Trademark applications: Numbers 87147274 and 87147273. While the former would protect the use of one of the aforementioned names as a standard character for any entertainment services related to professional ice hockey, the latter would secure the character mark on any apparel. This would mean that, if the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the Las Vegas team’s applications, any company that used the team’s logo on hats, shirts, bandanas or other clothing could be held up in court for a lawsuit.

With respect to settling on a specific name, the franchise has had some trouble over the past year. According to The Denver Post, the team’s owners had plenty of nickname ideas, but many of them were unavailable for legal reasons. 

“We have a lot of names in mind, but a lot of the ones I really liked are trademarked, so that’s a bit of an issue,” said Foley in July, as quoted by The Denver Post. 

NHL.com noted Foley and the other owners emphasized the importance of choosing a brand that would ring true with fans. The majority owner maintained he wanted to choose a name that would make people think of dedication, honor and perseverance – traits one could easily associate with knighthood.

A historic time for the Golden Knights

The Las Vegas team represents something of a landmark. For one thing, the franchise is the first major professional sports organization to call Sin City home, as Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the National Football League have never had teams in Vegas, as noted by NHL.com. The team will start playing in the 2017-18 season.

Why set up shop in Vegas? NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman and Perre Dion, Quebecor’s CEO and president, noted the NHL wanted to establish a balance between the NHL conferences. Not including the Las Vegas team, the Eastern Conference has 16 teams, while the Western Conference has 14 (Las Vegas will be the latter’s 15th member).

The process of choosing a team name has gone on for quite some time. It’s a testament to just how much a trademark can delay branding and marketing efforts.

Are you considering filing a trademark application? Do you have any questions regarding the matter? If so, please contact me, Anthony Caruso, at 201-806-3364.

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Anthony R. Caruso is a business transactional attorney in New York and New Jersey with experience in structuring, negotiation and completion of legal deals involving business, entrepreneurs, athletes and performers.

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