Tuesday February 9,2016 : ROUND ONE TO FIRST CAGAYAN IN LAS VEGAS SANDS TRADEMARK CASE
If you can't find the operators, go after the licensing authority?
An attempt by Sheldon Adelson's Las Vegas Sands company to seek compensation from the First Cagayan online gambling licensing authority in a trademark violation case has ended in failure – for now.
After unsuccessfully pursuing the hard-to-pin-down operators illegally using its trademarks and title, LVS turned its attention to an easier target with a fixed address – the First Cagayan licensing jurisdiction – and was awarded a $2.15 million compensatory judgement by a US Court last year.
However, the judgement was upended last week when US District Judge James Mahan was advised that First Cagayan only became aware of the case through a media enquiry after the award had been ordered… that's despite LVS serving email notifications through an online domain administrator for First Cagayan whom the regulator asserted was not “a shareholder, director, officer, employee or agent of First Cagayan.”
Judge Mahan noted in vacating his award that LVS had not argued First Cagayan's failure to respond to its notices, or indeed that the regulator had acted in bad faith.
The victory for First Cagayan may be a temporary affair based on technicalities, however; the original judgement remains in force and if the proper processes are followed by LVS the regulator could find itself on the defensive in a renewed claim.
First Cagayan has already signalled what its stance might be in that event, commenting that it has no relationship with the offending operators, and has not committed, or has any knowledge, of any trademark infringements.