The anonymous registrants of 35 websites and domain names are being pursued through the courts in the United States for allegedly using Las Vegas Sands Corp trademarks.
The websites are said to be Chinese-language platforms, but LVS adds in its complaint that all are “accessible to U.S. citizens”. The LVS chairman Sheldon Adelson is a prominent opponent of online gambling within the U.S.
The marks allegedly being infringed by the Chinese-language sites are the English name ‘Sands’, and the Chinese characters for ‘golden sand’, which is the Chinese equivalent of the ‘Sands’ trademark.
LVS filed a federal case on Friday in the U.S. District Court, in Nevada.
The company says the domain names – some involving combinations of numbers considered auspicious by Asian gamblers – were registered via proxy services. That meant that the registrant’s true name, e-mail address, or contact information is not available in the publicly available ‘WHOIS’ system – a protocol allowing access to a global database of domain name registrants.
LVS’s complaint adds however that the firm has discovered “directory sites,” located at 368.com and either vns000.com or 22v.com.
The lawsuit states: “The use of plaintiff’s marks was no accident. The website [sic] is clearly intended to refer to plaintiff’s world famous resort hotel, as it shows a skyline view of Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore.”
The complaint adds: “The Sands marks are embodiments of the substantial goodwill and excellent reputation Las Vegas Sands Corp and its predecessors have developed since 1952 as a premier provider of entertainment and casino services. As a result of the defendants’ blatant exploitation of Las Vegas Sands Corp’s trademarks without Las Vegas Sands Corp’s consent, Las Vegas Sands Corp has lost control over the Sands mark.”
LVS is asking the court for injunctive relief, as well as damages, attorneys’ fees, and costs.
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