Will Jimmy Fallon Destroy The Vegas Golden Knights’ Logo And Nickname?
You may have heard by now that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has initially denied the “Vegas Golden Knights” trademark -- that's the NHL expansion franchise owned by Bill Foley and set in Las Vegas, home of Wayne Newton and broken dreams.
What's the problem? Foley cleared the name with all the college teams also named Golden Knights -- among them Clarkson and the University of Central Florida. But he forgot about Div. II College of Saint Rose, a 4,800-student Catholic college in Albany, NY., who are also the Golden Knights.
The patent office noted that the nickname and certain elements of the college's logo (see below) are too close to the Vegas name and logo, and so denied the trademark.
The NHL and the Vegas team disagrees, of course, and say they will fight this. They have until June to respond. And they say they will win. Because really, what chance does a small Catholic college have against the might of the NHL?
But in looking over the list of Saint Rose alumni, one name stood out. Jimmy Fallon went there.
So suddenly this David vs. Goliath story becomes Goliath vs. NBC's flagship late night franchise. If Fallon takes note and brings late-night comedy guns to bare, this could get very embarrassing for the NHL.
LRT - according to that letter, here's the problem with the Vegas Golden Knights trademark application pic.twitter.com/LDWvJyfByo
— Winging It In Motown (@wingingitmotown) December 8, 2016
The Golden Knights name and logo made their debut on Nov. 22, and the team already has its merchandise in stores. You may be getting a Golden Knights t-shirt as a Christmas gift and not even know it yet. Lucky you.
Foley, a West Point grad, originally wanted to name the team Black Knights, the but U.S. Army nixed that right away. Foley then opted for Golden Knights, and also registered the names Silver Knights and Sand Knights. He's also getting grief from the Army, whose parachute division is called The Golden Knights -- but an Army spokeswoman said that they haven't decided what to do about it.
The NHL and the Vegas franchise consider this a small bump in the road. The Sporting News:
"Office actions like this are not at all unusual, and we will proceed with the help of outside counsel in preparing a response to this one," the newest NHL franchise said in a statement issued Wednesday to Sports Illustrated. “There are countless examples of college sports teams with coexisting names, including Vegas Golden Knights and Clarkson Golden Knights, UCLA Bruins and Boston Bruins, U. of Miami Hurricanes and Carolina Hurricanes, etc.
"We will plan on making these arguments and others in our detailed written response to the office action which must be filed by June 7, 2017."
But did they count on Fallon? This could be the kind of quasi-fake feud that David Letterman thrived on at CBS -- remember the tiff with Oprah?
The NHL will likely win this case, but it may involve paying off College of Saint Rose to use the name and logo. I imagine that would be somewhat expensive -- at least in comparison to what small Div. II athletic departments are accustomed to dealing with.
So hopefully the college will get some money out of this, and we'll get some comedy. Stay tuned.
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