Sunday June 29,2014 : ADELSON GOES AFTER ASIAN DOMAIN HOLDERS
Las Vegas Sands sues 35 sites on trademark grounds.
Sheldon Adelson is on the warpath against online gambling again; his Las Vegas Sands land gambling group is going after the owners of 35 websites for alleged trademark and reputational offences, filing federal lawsuits late last week in the United States District Court for the District Of Nevada.
The IP information site The Domains.com reports that the privacy-cloaked owners of the domain names are abusing Las Vegas Sands' "world famous" Sands trademark, using "Jinsha" Chinese characters which are equivalent to the gambling company's trademark, and that they are using these character and number combinations to falsely suggest an affiliation with Las Vegas Sands to lure punters to foreign online gambling or promotional websites.
Adelson's company is complaining of trademark infringement, false designation of origin, and dilution under the Lanham Act, as well as submitting claims for common law trademark infringement, and common law unfair competition, and seeking injunctive relief, damages and costs.
The filings claim that the [presently unknown] domain owners have set up a network of Chinese language Internet websites accessible to U.S. citizens that are designed to drive Internet users to one or more online casinos.
The complaint specifies 35 dotcom domains that are listed here:
The websites content in word and graphics is clearly intended to reference the Las Vegas Sands, showing its properties, all without the consent of the Las Vegas company, the filing claims.
The complaint explains an instance where these infringements have far-reaching effects for Las Vegas Sands, noting that the company is a strong supporter of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling, and is presently engaged in anti-online gambling publicity and lobbying campaigns in the United States.
The domain owners' abuse of Las Vegas Sands trademarks on online gambling sites, even though unauthorised by Las Vegas Sands, "…threatens to dilute and detract from Las Vegas Sands Corp.’s message and its efforts to stop the proliferation of online gambling," the filings claim.
Among its legal demands, Las Vegas Sands has included a request for a court order requiring domain name registrars eNom, Inc., Name.com, Inc., GoDaddy.com, Inc., and/or VeriSign, Inc. to immediately remove or disable the current domain name server information for each of the domain names and place the domain names on hold and lock pending further order of the Court.
The case number is 2:14-cv-01049.