A court document from the United States shows that the firm responsible for licensing offshore online gambling firms in the Philippines has denied any links to websites in Chinese accused of illegally trading on the name of Las Vegas Sands Corp and its marks.
First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp and other defendants had in February 2015 been ordered by the U.S. District Court in Nevada to pay Las Vegas Sands a total US$2.15 million.
The U.S.-based casino developer, which also has operations in Macau and Singapore, had alleged trademark infringement, unfair competition and copyright infringement.
But in a ruling dated February 3, judge James C. Mahan vacated the original judgement, accepting First Cagayan’s argument that it did not know about the case before March, 6, 2015, seven days after a default judgment and permanent injunction were imposed on it by the court.
First Cagayan is the exclusive master licensor for the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, an online gaming jurisdiction in the Philippines operating in the Cagayan Special Economic Zone.
February 3’s ruling noted: “First Cagayan… denies any affiliation with the Chinese language websites named as its co-defendants and any use of [Las Vegas] Sands’ famous marks.”
The ruling added that First Cagayan only learned of the original judgement “when it received a call from a journalist asking for a comment on the permanent injunction and money judgement”.
The document further stated: “Las Vegas Sands brought this action against the known and unknown registrants of dozens of websites and the websites themselves. First Cagayan was also named “as a defendant in th[e] lawsuit because all of the infringing online casino websites identified First Cagayan as the provider of online gaming services.””
First Cagayan’s parent company, Leisure and Resorts World Corp, has been a minority investor in Manila’s City of Dreams Manila casino resort operated by Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
In June 2014, GGRAsia reported that the anonymous registrants of 35 websites and domain names were being pursued through the courts in the United States for allegedly using Las Vegas Sands Corp trademarks.
The marks allegedly being infringed by some Chinese-language sites were the English name ‘Sands’, and the Chinese characters for ‘golden sand’, which is the Chinese equivalent of the ‘Sands’ trademark.
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