The U.S. District Court in Nevada has dismissed litigation brought by LT International Ltd against SHFL entertainment Inc, Scientific Games Corp announced on Monday.
Table and utility product maker SHFL entertainment was acquired by slot supplier Bally Technologies Inc in November 2013. Scientific Games, a U.S.-based specialist in lottery equipment and management, last month bought Bally Technologies.
LT International is an affiliate of Macau-based electronic table games specialist LT Game Ltd, controlled by Hong Kong-listed Paradise Entertainment Ltd, a company chaired by Jay Chun.
Scientific Games said in a press release on Monday that “the suit advanced several allegations under the Federal Lanham Act, including assertions regarding purported breaches of the act’s provisions governing advertising and unfair competition.”
The company added that the claims arose out of alleged conduct stemming from the parties’ attendance at Global Gaming Expo (G2E) Asia 2012, held in Macau. The event was marked by a court injunction from LT Game, which interrupted SHFL’s display of electronic table games combining electronic betting with live dealers.
The Lanham Act is the primary federal trademark statute of law in the United States.
“We are pleased that the federal court dismissed this matter,” said Ken Jolly, Scientific Games’s vice president for Asia. “We are committed to serving the needs of customers in Macau and in all legalised gaming markets openly and competitively, and this important decision enables us to continue on this path with even greater focus.”
The court case is part of a wider pending dispute dating back to 2009. LT Game disputes SHFL’s right to sell in the Macau market multi-game electronic table games with a live dealer and involving baccarat. SHFL has strongly defended what it says are its legitimate commercial rights in the Macau market.
In 2013, the Macau Court of First Instance acquitted SHFL entertainment from any wrongdoing, but said it could not decide with certainty whether the components of the company’s Rapid Baccarat product had functions, technical methods and results identical to the ones patented by its rival. Mr Chun and related companies have appealed against that decision and the lawsuit “is pending”, Paradise Entertainment said in its 2013 annual report.
Last July, Macau’s Court of Second Instance dismissed an appeal from SHFL entertainment, which sought an injunction against Paradise Entertainment and its subsidiaries’ assertions of monopolistic rights over “multi-gaming” in the Macau market.
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"The Hong Kong protests may hurt Macau gross gaming revenue by about mid-single-digit (i.e., half of maximum visitation exposure), which should fade away gradually as people will find alternative ways to visit Macau”
DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
Analysts at brokerage JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Ltd