Las Vegas Sands, Shuffle Master, American Casino all file trademark suits

TAGs: American Casino Entertainment Properties, Las Vegas Sands, Shuffle Master

las-vegas-sands-shuffle-master-trademark-suitsOn Tuesday, US casino operator Las Vegas Sands (LVS) filed a trademark infringement suit against Traffic Label Ltd., a UK website operator that LVS claims is misusing Sands’ good name. The UK outfit operates, a French-language website that displays Las Vegas iconography along with descriptions of Vegas casinos and links to online gambling websites. Vegas Inc. quoted LVS’ court filing accusing Traffic Label of posing as LVS’ official corporate site “in a manner that is likely to confuse, mislead or deceive consumers.” The offending website has since vanished from the interwebz. Last month, LVS sued a different website operator that also attempted to pass itself off as LVS corporate site while shilling for investment opportunities.

On Wednesday, Vegas gaming operator American Casino & Entertainment Properties filed a trademark infringement suit against Marchex Sales Inc., a Seattle-based publicly traded mobile and online advertising company. Marchex operates the domain, which purports to provide info on American Casino properties, including the Stratosphere hotel-casino in Vegas, but also provides links to casinos owned by other companies and to online gambling sites. American Casino argues that the domain is an infringement of its “ace PLAY” loyalty club trademark. On Friday, the Las Vegas Sun reported that a US District Court judge issued a temporary restraining order requiring the domain name registrar to transfer the offending domain into the court’s control until July 3, when Marchex will have its opportunity to contest the seizure.

Intellectual property lawyers were clearly running a special offer this week, as gaming device maker Shuffle Master filed a trademark/copyright infringement suit against Dublin, Ohio-based app developer Avalinx. The suit accuses Avalinx of unauthorized use of elements of Shuffle Master’s Let It Ride and Three Card Poker table games in Avalinx’s Let ‘Em Ride Pro and 3 Card Pro mobile apps. Shuffle Master alleges that Avalinx couldn’t even be arsed to come up with its own graphics, instead lifting them directly from Shuffle Master’s website. Avalinx removed the offending products from Apple’s iTunes store, “but only after [Shuffle Master] demanded their removal.” Shuffle Master described Avalinx’s conduct in this matter as “patently egregious.” Patent – get it?

PokerFuse’s Haley Hintze suggested the Shuffle Master suit could have ramifications for pan-European online gambling operator, as PartyGaming’s casino offering includes versions of the same games cited in the Avalinx suit, as well as other potentially infringing games. While Shuffle Master hasn’t traditionally gone after operators in international courts, it could be biding its time until strays onto Shuffle Master’s turf, like, say, when’s application for a Nevada online poker license comes up for a hearing with state regulators. Step into my parlor, said the spider to the fly…


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