Jennifer Ko Craft, a local trademark attorney for Dickinson Wright law firm has been extensively quoted in the Las Vegas Sun article, “Don’t bet on a Golden Knights name change in trademark case“. Jennifer also believes the Golden Knights have nothing to worry about.
“I would be very surprised if they rule in the Army’s favor,” said Craft, who works in the law firm’s intellectual property and media department, specifically focused on sports and entertainment. “I think the hockey team has a pretty strong case.”
Craft said the opposition filed by the Army is typical in her line of work. “You understand that there are a ton of teams and organizations that use black and gold, and a ton of organizations that use Knights, or even Golden Knights,” Craft said. “To say that one specific entity owns the rights to the name isn’t likely.”
She said the biggest hurdle for the Army is the vast difference between the teams. “We’re talking about a hockey team versus a parachute team,” Craft said. “Because the sports themselves are so different, I just don’t see how fans would get confused. Typically sports fans are avid fans that know a lot about their team and there’s almost no way for the two to be confused.”
In trademark law, there are two main claims — Infringement (which claims there can be confusion between the two) and dilution (which claims it tarnishes the brand). But according to Craft, intent is only a factor once the Army proves infringement or dilution, which is unlikely.
“You still have to show that there’s a likelihood of confusing the two,” she said. “Now if they do find confusion, then the intent is going to be pretty damning with quotes like that.”
Craft said she would guess Foley and the Vegas Golden Knights settle with the Army outside of court, but if the Army does go through with the opposition, it will likely lose. Even if they’re successful, the hockey team still doesn’t have to change its name. It can simply proceed using it without a trademark.
About Jennifer Ko Craft:
Ms. Craft is an “AV/Preeminent Attorney®” as rated by Martindale-Hubbell® member in the firm’s Intellectual Property and Media, Sports & Entertainment Departments. She practices primarily in the areas of domestic and international trademark and copyright prosecution, licensing and enforcement. Ms. Craft consults with clients in identifying various protectable aspects of the clients’ products, services and concepts, and in developing and managing their intellectual property portfolios. She also resolves trademark, copyright, and domain name disputes, including the resolution of disputes over contested trademarks before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and enforcing clients’ intellectual property rights on the Internet.
In addition to her prosecution practice, Ms. Craft drafts and negotiates a variety of agreements in the intellectual property and entertainment fields such as assignments, licenses, rights of publicity agreements, non-disclosure agreements, personal management agreements and work for hire agreements, including recording, publishing and production agreements. Jennifer may be reached in our Las Vegas office at 702.550.4441 and you may visit her bio here.