NHL not reconsidering Vegas Golden Knights name despite trademark denial

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NHL Deputy commissioner Bill Daly says the logo or name of expansion franchise the Vegas Golden Knights will not be reconsidered despite a trademark application denial.

An approval request for the name and logo of the NHL's 31st franchise was turned down by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Wednesday, providing yet another hitch in what has already become a protracted initiation process for team owner Bill Foley.

Foley's holding company, Black Knight Sports and Entertainment LL Etc., was informed of a possible conflict based on the "likelihood of confusion" with the NCAA's College of Saint Rose Golden Knights. 

A timespan of six months was given for a response to the letter dated on December 7, but Daly insists there is no intention for the application to be amended 

He said in a statement: "We are currently reviewing the Trademark Office's letter and will prepare a detailed response demonstrating why we continue strongly to believe the Vegas Golden Knights mark should be registered in co-existence with the college registration, just as a number of other nicknames currently co-exist in professional and college sports (particularly where there is no overlap as to the sport for which the nickname is being used). That response is not due until June 7, 2017.

"We consider this a routine matter and it is not our intention to reconsider the name or logo of this franchise. We fully intend to proceed as originally planned, relying on our common law trademark rights as well as our state trademark registrations while we work through the process of addressing the question raised in the federal applications."

The Golden Knights nickname and logos were unveiled on November 22 during a glitzy ceremony at the T-Mobile Arena on the Las Vegas Strip, where the team will begin playing at in the 2017-18 season.

They have already begun selling hats, shirts and other team-branded merchandise, but the USPTO stated it found the design to be similar in "appearance, sound, connotation, and commercial impression" with the College of St. Rose's athletic department, which does not count an ice hockey team among its sanctioned programs.