Tuesday, March 29, 2016 : GAMBLING TRADE MARK DISPUTE OVER T.V. SERIES TITLE
"House of Cards" dispute could impact slot machine themes.
In the United States, radio program production company D2 Holdings has launched litigation against MRC, which produces the now famous television political drama series "House of Cards" starring Kevin Spacey.
D2 Holdings claims that it owns the trademark for the phrase "house of cards" which it plans to use for a radio program on gambling.
The issue is further complicated, according to the publication Techdirt, by the imminent US release of new slot machines themed on the popular television program.
In its court filings, D2 takes issue with the slot games titles “House of Cards Power and Money” and “House of Cards Welcome to Washington,” which it says “are slated for placement in casinos in the first quarter of 2016.”
Techdirt points out that D2 may have problems proving its case; the exclusive use of such a common phrase should be very specifically focused on a narrow application of the mark, and licensing the phrase to a radio show is not competing in the same marketplace as the television show or the new slot machines…regardless of the radio show's focus on gambling.
D2 Holdings' claim that there could be customer confusion is also dismissed by Techdirt as "laughable."
"These [slot] machines will be filled with the iconography of the [television] show," Techdirt observes.
"Anyone who has seen a themed slot machine knows what they look like and how they are decorated. There will be zero customer confusion between the Netflix show and a gambling radio broadcast. Suggesting otherwise is silly."