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Double trouble: Texas bar sued by Double Down Saloon

Good things tend to happen in blackjack when players double down. When a player doubles down, it typically means their first two cards add up to 10 or 11, significantly raising the odds in the player's favor.

While it can be good to double down in blackjack, trouble raises its head when two businesses share the name Double Down. That's the case with the Double Down Saloons and the Double Down Lounge. The saloons are in Las Vegas and New York, while the lounge is in Austin, Tex.

Double Down Inc., owner of the saloons, has recently slapped JLM Bar Group LLC, the owner of the Texas lounge, with a trademark infringement lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims the Texas bar is infringing on a trademark and engaging in false advertising. The bar maintains a Web site at doubledownaustin.com, which the Las Vegas saloon owners say is cybersquatting (using a domain name to profit off of someone else's trademarked name).

The local Double Down says it's been using the Double Down name since 1992; it obtained a federal trademark registration for "Double Down Saloon" use in 2006 for tavern and restaurant services. Last year, it obtained trademark registration  extending use of the name to casinos and live performances of music.

The lawsuit claims that beginning in March of last year, the Austin bar began infringing on the trademark. The Texas club reportedly uses a gambling theme in its promotions and the facility also features live music.

The Las Vegas and New York clubs state in their suit: "The Double Down plaintiffs own the exclusive right to use the Double Down marks in connection with restaurant and tavern services, and in connection with gaming entertainment and live performances by musicians and musical groups."

They prevailed in a similar suit two years against a Nebraska club using the Double Down name.

Resource: Las Vegas Sun: "Double Down Saloon hits Texas business with trademark suit": February 15, 2011

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