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NHL 2017-18

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My understanding is that the issue is less about a similarity between the logos as it is the rights to the Golden Knights name itself. 

 

As was pointed out on the previous page Foley has been pretty transparent in his desire to associate the team with the US Army.  The ownership group is called Black Knight Sports and Entertainment, and by all accounts Foley was set on Black Knights until the league (and it's lawyers) convinced him that wasn't such a good idea. The fact that he simply pivoted and chose another US Army team (in this case their elite sky diving team) suggests a strong pattern of behavior. After all, there were a number of other possible names suggested (Silver Knights, Neon Knights, Desert Knights, etc.), all of which could have worked just as well and would likely have been far easier to trademark. 

 

For the US Army this lawsuit is about protecting the integrity of their brand. I realize this may seem like an absurd statement to make for what is ultimately a government organization, but we live in a very brand conscious world, and the US Army relies upon its brand to assist with everything from recruitment to soliciting funds. What's more, the name Golden Knights represents an elite and highly public organization within the US Army. They have invested a lot of time, resources, and money into the Golden Knights name, and I completely understand their desire not to share it with a professional sports team. 

 

I know some have argued that the relative obscurity of the Golden Knights parachuting team means that there's little evidence to support the claim that the US Army is negatively impacted VGK's use of the name. After all, who could possibly confused the two? But both organizations are effectively entertainment groups, and both organizations travel. I don't believe it would be that hard to imagine a scenario in which the US Army Golden Knights and the Vegas Golden Knights both have events in close proximity. Everyone involved (event organizers, advertisers, attendees) would need to specify *which* Golden Knights were being discussed. As the older of the two organizations I believe the US Army has every right to claim that they alone get to own the name...especially when you consider that Foley chose the name precisely because of its association with the US Army. 

 

(...it's good to be back)

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3 hours ago, BrianLion said:

 

The feeling I get is that the trademark law in Canada is a bit different. 

 

I agree that Knights is a pretty ubiquitous name especially in terms of sports teams, and the VGK don't really look anything like the London Knights, you just dont see crossover team names between the CHL and NHL too often unless like the Rangers, they have a historical precedent to be there. 

I think Islanders and Hurricanes are the only other shared names. The Lethbridge Hurricanes were around for many years before Carolina adopted the name. Oddly enough, the Lethbridge Hurricanes were forced to change their logo as the Washington Capitals tool exception with how similar it was to theirs. 

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5 hours ago, Gobbi said:

I think Islanders and Hurricanes are the only other shared names. The Lethbridge Hurricanes were around for many years before Carolina adopted the name. Oddly enough, the Lethbridge Hurricanes were forced to change their logo as the Washington Capitals tool exception with how similar it was to theirs. 

 

Oh it is most definitely not odd that the Capitals took exception with the HurrJcanes logo being too similar. 

 

lethbridge_hurricanes.png?w=640&h=360

 

I'm going to junior-Canejack this thread a bit, but the Hurricanes have had a tumultuous logo history with six different primary logos in their 31 year history, five of them being used since the turn of the century and none have been all that great.

There's the original from 87-88 to 96-97. 1818.gif

Then Taz from 97-98 to 03-04. 4smwruhi3fi2egww2oe2cp1bc.gif 

Then more of a hurricane storm shape from 04-05 to 08-09. dnhe6w9cu2n5byfiv6hea8nmh.gif

Then how about we just use the script for two seasons, 09-10 and 10-11. k7fq474bkdsflgmest6xw1n2m.gif

Then the HurrJcanes for also just two seasons, 11-12 and 12-13. rqan6ime45gexog7ss9bwx12e.gif 

Finally the current look beginning in 13-14. 44020632014.gif

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17 minutes ago, monkeypower said:

 

Oh it is most definitely not odd that the Capitals took exception with the HurrJcanes logo being too similar. 

Oh I agree, I don’t find it odd that the Capitals took exception. My comment was more meant to state that I find it amusing that given they're a team that shares a name with an NHL club, they rip off the identity of a different NHL club and find themselves in hot water as a result. 

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I'm always confused (and a little worried) that the issue always seems to be the parachute team, instead of West Point sports teams going balls-to-the-wall against this. That being said, however this comes back to bite Foley in the ass, I'm fine with. It couldn't be more obvious that the NHL team's identity was designed to rip off the Army's brand. Based on other cases we've seen, I'd be shocked if the courts don't see a problem with Vegas/West Point.

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15 hours ago, M4One said:

 

Nope.  Just going off what was on the front page about Army officially opposing the trademark.  Honestly have no idea whether Army has a case or not since I don't really feel the logos are similar, though it is pretty clear Foley has based the name and look of the team off of West Point.

 

If Army wins, then I'm thinking it might not be as simple as changing the name to Sand Knights or something like that since they are also saying the logo is similar.  If Vegas is forced to not only change their name, but also their logo, you would think that all that Vegas Golden Knights gear would become collector's items and maybe have some sort of value down the road

 

Question to the Americans.  Is the Army's parachute team being called the Golden Knights a well known thing?  

 

I think there’s too much merchandise to ever make this stuff valuable. Original Jaguars stuff isn’t all that valuable, and that was almost 25 years ago when merchandising was much less mature than it is now (and really, it was Jacksonville). The market is flooded nowadays, and a global destination like Las Vegas has much more merchandising appeal, so there’s probably already twenty times as much Golden Knights merchandise out theee as there is original Jaguars merchandise.

 

I’ve seen the US Army Golden Knights several times, but if you’ve never been to an air show, it’s entirely possible to not know they exist. They are very talented, though.

 

14 hours ago, Thaumatrope said:

My understanding is that the issue is less about a similarity between the logos as it is the rights to the Golden Knights name itself. 

 

As was pointed out on the previous page Foley has been pretty transparent in his desire to associate the team with the US Army.  The ownership group is called Black Knight Sports and Entertainment, and by all accounts Foley was set on Black Knights until the league (and it's lawyers) convinced him that wasn't such a good idea. The fact that he simply pivoted and chose another US Army team (in this case their elite sky diving team) suggests a strong pattern of behavior. After all, there were a number of other possible names suggested (Silver Knights, Neon Knights, Desert Knights, etc.), all of which could have worked just as well and would likely have been far easier to trademark. 

 

For the US Army this lawsuit is about protecting the integrity of their brand. I realize this may seem like an absurd statement to make for what is ultimately a government organization, but we live in a very brand conscious world, and the US Army relies upon its brand to assist with everything from recruitment to soliciting funds. What's more, the name Golden Knights represents an elite and highly public organization within the US Army. They have invested a lot of time, resources, and money into the Golden Knights name, and I completely understand their desire not to share it with a professional sports team. 

 

I know some have argued that the relative obscurity of the Golden Knights parachuting team means that there's little evidence to support the claim that the US Army is negatively impacted VGK's use of the name. After all, who could possibly confused the two? But both organizations are effectively entertainment groups, and both organizations travel. I don't believe it would be that hard to imagine a scenario in which the US Army Golden Knights and the Vegas Golden Knights both have events in close proximity. Everyone involved (event organizers, advertisers, attendees) would need to specify *which* Golden Knights were being discussed. As the older of the two organizations I believe the US Army has every right to claim that they alone get to own the name...especially when you consider that Foley chose the name precisely because of its association with the US Army. 

 

(...it's good to be back)

 

The most American way to handle this is for T-Mobile to cover the settlement in exchange for an extra ten years of arena naming rights, change the team name to Neon Knights, and switch out the red for magenta. :-)

 

6 hours ago, Cosmic said:

I'm always confused (and a little worried) that the issue always seems to be the parachute team, instead of West Point sports teams going balls-to-the-wall against this. That being said, however this comes back to bite Foley in the ass, I'm fine with. It couldn't be more obvious that the NHL team's identity was designed to rip off the Army's brand. Based on other cases we've seen, I'd be shocked if the courts don't see a problem with Vegas/West Point.

 

I think it’s easier to make a case for the name, given that it’s identical and the public quotes support their claim well.

 

The West Point and/or logo claim is more of a judgment call in my opinion because they don’t really look anything alike, but they do use similar elements (shield, helmet, colors).

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1 hour ago, andrewharrington said:

The most American way to handle this is for T-Mobile to cover the settlement in exchange for an extra ten years of arena naming rights, change the team name to Neon Knights, and switch out the red for magenta. :-)

 

I like how you think.

 

If Black Knights Sports and Entertainment can't come to an agreement on the use of just Knights, I personally think Neon Knights is the next best option (it's unique, it relates to the market, and g*d d*mn it I want to see a pro team use magenta). 

 

Meanwhile...I can't help but wonder where Foley and the NHL's legal council were on this whole mess. I'm not a lawyer, but considering the money at stake (not to mention the PR nightmare) there's no way I would have let Foley go ahead with the Golden Knights name. Even if the odds of the US Army successfully blocking the trademark are 10% (which I think is very low), that still seems like too much of a risk for what amounts to a 500+ million dollar investment.  

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1 hour ago, CRichardson said:

But Neon Knights is an objectively awful name.

 

Pretty sure you mean subjectively. I know...I'm being that guy, but it's kinda like people who casually throw around "literally" it's just kinda tacky.

 

EDIT: Just realized I actually meant to reference this video. Oh well...happy Friday all...Weird Al for everyone!

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Seriously. Las Vegas Knights is the only Knight name that isn't terrible.

 

and Dio era Sabbath doesn't count as Sabbath, even though I love Dio.

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Don't get me wrong...Las Vegas Knights is the superior name for a whole host of reasons...but I would argue that of all the possible "Adjective Knights" names that have been proposed the Neon Knights are the most creative and Las Vegas-esque. 

 

As for Dio...

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36 minutes ago, ColeJ said:

Seriously. Las Vegas Knights is the only Knight name that isn't terrible.

 

and Dio era Sabbath doesn't count as Sabbath, even though I love Dio.

 

So, is it Heaven and Hell?

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Honestly, who would ever come to a Vegas game and think that they were headed to a parachute team... game? show? ...anyway, I doubt that it would be indoors. So if anyone is confusing a NHL team with a parachute team than they are just idiotic, IMO.

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25 minutes ago, Magic Dynasty said:

So if anyone is confusing a NHL team with a parachute team than they are just idiotic, IMO.

That's not what's being debated.

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6 hours ago, Thaumatrope said:

 

I like how you think.

 

If Black Knights Sports and Entertainment can't come to an agreement on the use of just Knights, I personally think Neon Knights is the next best option (it's unique, it relates to the market, and g*d d*mn it I want to see a pro team use magenta). 

 

Meanwhile...I can't help but wonder where Foley and the NHL's legal council were on this whole mess. I'm not a lawyer, but considering the money at stake (not to mention the PR nightmare) there's no way I would have let Foley go ahead with the Golden Knights name. Even if the odds of the US Army successfully blocking the trademark are 10% (which I think is very low), that still seems like too much of a risk for what amounts to a 500+ million dollar investment.  

 

It's the NHL.  It's a league that has previously allowed fraudulent people to own teams when they have absolutely no money at all.  John Spano bought the Islanders in 1996 and William "Boots" Del Biaggio had a piece of the Predators.  There's probably a few others that I don't know about.  

 

So, the NHL dropping the ball on this shouldn't be surprising to anybody.  They probably figured that nothing would happen, or were crossing their fingers and hope all will go well.

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57 minutes ago, Magic Dynasty said:

Honestly, who would ever come to a Vegas game and think that they were headed to a parachute team... game? show? ...anyway, I doubt that it would be indoors. So if anyone is confusing a NHL team with a parachute team than they are just idiotic, IMO.

 

So I know I talked about this above, but maybe it would be helpful to use a metaphor to try and capture the underlying issue...

 

Let's say you start up a business...an aquarium shop...and you name it Happy Fish. It's a pretty niche business, but you work hard, you invest a lot of time and money into your store, training your staff, building good relationships with your distributors, you even spend a little money to buy local newspaper and radio ads. The business doesn't make you rich, but it does turn a profit, and more importantly all your hard work and investment has made your aquarium shop the most well regarded in the area. 

 

Now lets say a sushi bar opens up in the next town over...and they call themselves Happy Fish. Even though the two business are not directly competing against each other, you now have to deal with the possibility of confusion. Some people might make the trip to one, expecting it to be the other...after all your business is pretty well known in aquarium circles. Sure, we have Google these days and it's pretty easy to figure out which is which...but that's an extra wrinkle...one more hiccup in getting customers to your door. Worse still, what if people start to think that the two businesses are related...that maybe you decided to open up the sushi bar? Suddenly you have this connection with another business (and another owner) that you did not ask for. What if a bunch of people get food poisoning from poorly prepared fish and suddenly the name Happy Fish is associated with serious illness or even death?

 

You've worked very hard to build your business and to have people associate Happy Fish with a great store that is highly regarded by people who care about aquariums. Wouldn't you do everything you could to defend that? 

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