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LVS awarded $2m in trademark dispute against Chinese websites

23rd January 2015 8:57 am GMT

Casino operator Las Vegas Sands has succeeded in securing a permanent injunction against a number of Chinese online gambling sites which infringed upon the casino giant’s trademarks, with a court awarding the company $2m in statutory damages.

The United States District Court of Nevada ruled that the unnamed companies behind 35 domains had counterfeited, infringed upon and diluted Sands’ trademarks, and that the operator would suffer “irreparable industry” to its valuable trademarks and associated goodwill if the defendants were not stopped from running the sites.

While none of the domains referred directly to any of Sands’ trademarks, the sites were found to have used the company’s brands such as Sands, Jinsha and Venetian in a way that was confusing.

This, the court said, may have led the public to believe that they were owned by the operator. All have since been taken down by domain registrars eNom, Name.com, and GoDaddy.com. The site domains included the likes of 368.com, VNS000.com, XJS00.com among others.

It also ruled that as a direct and proximate result of the defendants’ conduct, Sands has suffered, and will continue to suffer, monetary loss and irreparable industry to its business, reputation and goodwill.

The court therefore decided that a permanent injunction was in the public interest.

The defendants have been ordered to pay Sands statutory damages in the amount of $2m. They have also been banned from using trademarks such as Sands, Jinsha or Venetian, or any confusingly similar variations including on any website, in any domain name, social network user name, or hidden website text or website metatag.

They are also blocked from engaging in false or misleading advertising or commercial activities likely to make consumers wrongly believe they are associated or affiliated with Sands’ business.

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