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Gaming Guru

Arnold M. Knightly
 

Venetian says it is not violating trademark

15 July 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada –- A subsidiary of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. is asking a federal court in Nevada to issue a declaratory judgment stating that the gaming company is not infringing on a Houston company's trademark by selling "Palazzo" branded items in its hotel gift shops.

Venetian Casino Resort, the limited liability subsidiary that owns the 3,0666-room Palazzo on the Strip, said in a Tuesday court filing that Houston-based manufacturer Palazzo Design Corp. sent a letter demanding that the gaming company either purchase the trademark or sign a licensing agreement to use the name.

According to the letter the U.S. Trademark Office rejected an application by Las Vegas Sands Corp. to trademark the name for retail store use three times before it was approved with conditions.

"The application was finally approved only after your lawyers agreed to explicitly exclude the sale of apparel," the letter said. "Nevertheless, it has come to our client's attention that the Palazzo casino is marketing and selling shirts, hats and other apparel bearing its protected mark."

Palazzo Design seeks a response from the gaming company by Tuesday.

The lawsuit said, "The clear implication of the letter is that absent (licensing or purchasing the trademark) by The Venetian, litigation would result," the gaming subsidiary says in its lawsuit.

Palazzo Design owns the trademark and maintains a Web site, palazzotees.com, through which the Houston company sells it merchandise, but the letter "threaten injury to the Venetian," Venetian Casino Resort saying in its suit.

The gaming company is seeking legal and court fees.