MGM Mirage is on the warpath

Major US land gambling group goes after 6 Chinese trademark infringers

Always protective of its trademarks, the US land gambling group MGM Mirage was on the warpath again this week, going after six Chinese webbies and accusing them of operating a website infringes its trademarks.

In an action filed in a Las Vegas court, lawyers for the giant betting and hotel company claim that the defendants have registered Internet Web site names that include the phrase "MGM" and that link through to an online gambling Web site, "BetMGM Online Sports."

Adding salt to the trademark wound, the Chinese webbies have apparently added leonine graphics that resemble those of MGM's logo, and have cheekily included links to MGM hospitality industry websites and even photographs of the corporate's casino in Macau!

MGM's suit claims that the defendant's intention was to illegally use the MGM material in order to associate their website with the considerable publicity attendant on the opening of MGM's new CityCenter project in Las Vegas.

"The lead up to the [CityCenter] opening, and the opening itself, received immense publicity and attention from national and international media, with more than 400 members of the press on hand to cover the event," the lawsuit claims.

"Defendants deliberately and knowingly chose to register domain names that are nearly identical to plaintiff’s `' domain name at a time when MGM Mirage was receiving unprecedented worldwide media attention. Defendants clearly intend to misdirect consumers looking for information about MGM Mirage to their online sports book and casino."

"Defendants’ entire scheme of misappropriating plaintiff’s MGM and MGM Grand marks is designed to defraud consumers into believing they are transacting business with MGM Mirage to induce them to transfer money to defendants," charges the lawsuit, which includes claims of trademark infringement and dilution, cybersquatting, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices."

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