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Las Vegas casino in international intellectual property dispute

When most people think of intellectual property, they likely think of patents and copyrights. However, trademark infringement is also a major intellectual property concern, as a great deal of damage can occur if a company’s name or brand image is misappropriated. For this reason, many Las Vegas companies find it essential to guard against unlawful use of their trademarks.

Las Vegas Sands has filed a lawsuit against Chinese websites, claiming that the holders of these domain names are engaging in trademark infringement by using marks that suggest the sites are associated with the casino. In its complaint, Las Vegas Sands alleges that these gambling websites are pairing the company’s Venetian trademark with the casino’s name in Chinese.

It is unclear from reports whether these gambling websites are targeting an American demographic. However, court papers indicate that these sites aim to draw gamblers into using international online casinos, and that these websites are also available to Americans.

Las Vegas Sands is asking the court to order that 35 specified domain names be removed by domain name registers. Reports do not indicate whether this is the full extent of the relief sought, or whether the casino is also requesting monetary damages.

Many companies work hard to build their intellectual property interests and find it necessary to vigilantly protect them. Business owners and executives who believe that their companies need to pursue litigation to resolve an intellectual property dispute may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney as soon as they identify a problem. This can be particularly true when dealing with international business litigation, as this type of lawsuit can quickly become very complex.

Source: bloomberg.com, “Apple, Las Vegas Sands, Fracking: Intellectual Property,” Victoria Slind-Flor, July 2, 2014 

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