After revealing the strange name of the new Vegas hockey team, as the Vegas Golden Knights, the United States Patent and Trademark Office has denied the initial request for a Trademark on their name. The reasoning is as follows:
Marks are compared in their entireties for similarities in appearance, sound, connotation, and commercial impression…
In this case, the wording “GOLDEN KNIGHTS” is the dominant portion of both the registered and applied-for marks. In the registered mark, the wording “GOLDEN KNIGHTS” appears significantly larger than the subscripted additional text. Further, the “GOLDEN KNIGHTS” wording is centered in the mark, and appears in the more stylized and distinctive typeface as compared to the remaining wording….
Marks may be confusingly similar in appearance where similar terms or phrases or similar parts of terms or phrases appear in the compared marks and create a similar overall commercial impression…
In this case, the marks share the common wording “GOLDEN KNIGHTS,” and the additional wording does not change the overall commercial impression of the marks. The wording “THE COLLEGE OF SAINT ROSE” in the registrant’s mark is presented in such a manner that consumers encountering the mark are likely to read it as a tagline; consumers will focus on the wording “GOLDEN KNIGHTS.”
Accordingly, the examining attorney finds that the marks are identical in part, sharing their most dominant and source-identifying portions, and are confusingly similar when compared in their entireties.
While it is not a complete denial of the Trademark, and they can appeal and go to a hearing, it shows that the name is in jeopardy as a trademarked name.
The Vegas Golden Knights pointed out that they believe the will win the arguement, by claimin “thereghere are countless examples of college sports teams and professional 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.”