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Victory for both PMU and Unibet/Antigua in a French court
A ruling was handed down by the Paris Court of First Instance in a trademark infringement case this week between French former state-regulated monopoly, Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) and online gambling operator, Unibet and the jurisdiction of Antigua.
The case was based on several trademarks registered by the PMU prior to the liberalisation of the French market that identified betting services as “Simple”, “Couplé”, “Trio”, “Tiercé”, “Quarté+”, “Quinté+”, “2sur4" and “Multi”.
On Unibet's entry into the now liberalised market, the firm used the same terms to identify the betting services. PMU brought a claim of trademark infringement, unfair competition and parasitism against Unibet and Antigua.
In a counter-claim, the defendants requested that PMU's trademarks be cancelled on the grounds of:
- The trademarks were registered in bad faith as they were registered in a context of the liberalisation of the online betting market to prevent new entrants from using the names of the horse bets. Defendants emphasised that PMU did not create the bets, nor did it create the names of the bets, and that it could not ignore their use by Unibet or by any other operator before the filing.
- The trademarks were devoid of any distinctive character since they:
- Consisted of the necessary, customary and generic terms to designate horse betting.
- Designated a particular type of horse betting decreed by the French government and are registered for goods and services related to horse betting.
- Denoted an essential characteristic of the bookmaking activity (ie, the type of horse betting).
In a split verdict, the court rejected PMU's trademark infringement claim and ruled in favour of the online bookmakers.
However, the court found that Unibet and Antigua were liable for parasitism in their use of the same colour code used by PMU, and ordered that the defendants pay the sum of Euro 50 000 in damages to PMU and are prohibited from using the colours in future, reports law firm Baker & McKenzie.
In response to media reports on the ruling, PMU issued a press release stating that it will appeal the ruling and pointed out that the ruling is suspensive in nature.
Betradar Launches US Sports Betting Solutions -
With only a few weeks to go until the betting and gambling world descends on ICE in London, Betradar have today announced that they will be launching a comprehensive range of tools and services to any company that will be looking to provide sports betting in a post-PASPA United States.
Final 12 For MPNPT Morocco -
Sunday on the MPN Poker Tour Morocco will see several trophies awarded at the Mazagan Beach Resort, with the largest going to the Main Event champion along with a prize of MAD 400,000 (c.€35,400).
MPNPT Morocco Updates -
Leading the 104 combined survivors from both flights is still Said El-Yousfi with 272,000 chips; visit the MPN Poker Tour blog for an end-of-day recap and full chip counts.
MPN Poker Tour Morocco Day 1A -
The MPN Poker Tour has returned to Morocco this week (January 11-14), featuring the MAD 1.5 million guaranteed Main Event, accompanying side events, and the activities and parties for which this tour has now become known on two continents.
2018 MPN Poker Classic -
The MPN announces the return of The Classic tournament series this January. The series is back following its successful €350,000 guaranteed debut in 2017. This time €500,000 is guaranteed, along with a once in a lifetime trip to Monaco for the Classic Champion.
PDC and Sportradar Renew Deal -
Following this month’s hugely successful World Championship, the Professional Darts Corporation (PDC) and long-standing partners Sportradar have renewed their multi-faceted cooperation that will see the leader in sports data and content continuing in their role as official data
Poker Yaar Joins MPN -
Available through download, instant play and mobile, Pokeryaar.com is live with Omaha, Hold’em and Five-Card poker variants, alongside MPN’s Fish Party, the industry’s only progressive jackpot SNGs.
New MPN Poker Rooms Tower Torneos -
Impressed with Microgaming, having already integrated with the Quickfire platform to gain access to some of the industry’s best gaming content, Tower Torneos has extended the relationship with poker.<
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