Virginia
09 December 2016
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Brands can learn from Vegas Golden Knights


Brands looking to consider register a trademark in the future would be wise to consider the Vegas Golden Knights situation, according to Julian Perlman, partner at Phillips Nizer.

NHL team the Vegas Golden Knights lost an attempt to trademark its name after the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) said it was confusingly similar to an existing trademark.

The Vegas Golden Knights were attempting to register their name for use with clothing and apparel, but the USPTO said that the mark was too similar to the Golden Knights of the College of Saint Rose, whose mark was used for similar goods.

The USPTO said that the Vegas Golden Knights had registered their name with no particular logo or design, and, were the trademark granted, they would be free to stylise the mark as they chose, leaving the possibility of confusion with the College of Saint Rose logo.

Perlman said that this decision will allow business owners and entrepreneurs to learn from the NHL team’s mistakes.

He said: “Anyone who might consider registering a trademark in the future is wise to consider this situation.”

“Clearly it is necessary to do a substantial trademark search to identify any already registered marks that are potentially confusingly similar, before attempting to register,” Perlman explained.

“It would be ideal to come up with a mark that does not present the same issue and is not similar to an already-registered mark.”

“However, that is not always an option when an investment has already been made in a particular trade name, in which case working with other users and registrants of the similar mark and attempting to persuade the USPTO that consumers would not be harmed is the next best option.”

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