December 11,2011 : MGM OPPOSED IN GAMBLING DOMAIN ACTION
Texas entrepreneur fights attempt to seize Excalibur Poker.com domain
The anti-domain piracy legal drive by US land gambling giant MGM Resorts has run into its first real opposition in Texas entrepreneur Adam Majewski, who has filed a motion for dismissal of an MGM attempt to seize his Excalibur Poker.com domain on grounds that it does not infringe any MGM trademark or brand ownership.
Majewski claims that the website using the domain does not offer gambling services; that the domain has been his for several years; that Excalibur is a name used in a wide variety of business titles; and that the name is rooted in an ancient legend going back to the mythical King Arthur of England.
He accused MGM of going after the domain to further its online poker ambitions, and claimed that the company had made no attempt to contact him and discuss the issue before filing its litigation against him, forcing him into expensive defensive measures.
InfoPowa readers will recall that last week that Majewski was named in one of six MGM actions filed in Las Vegas requesting the seizure of domains that the gambling giant claimed infringed its trademarks and brands by cybersquatting.
The company claimed that using the titles of its famous properties like Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay et al linked to the word "poker" trespassed on its rights.
Industry observers speculated then that the action may be linked to MGM's ambitions in a future US legal internet poker market, although actions by large gambling corporates in defence of their trademarks on the internet are not unusual.
In most cases the defendants do not respond and are found in default, enabling the court to seize their domain names, but in some cases confidential out-of-court settlements have been reached.
A preliminary injunction has been awarded against Majewski and other defendants, and a federal judge will consider his motion for dismissal once the court has all the facts and arguments at its disposal.
The injunction precludes any sale or transfer of the domains in question by stopping the domain registrar concerned – in this case Godaddy – from processing any requests connected with the domains, and making them available to the court.