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Steve Green

Palazzo sues Texas company in clothing trademark dispute

15 July 2009

LAS VEGAS, Nevada AND Texas -- Another trademark dispute is brewing on the Las Vegas Strip, this one over the sale of "Palazzo" clothing items such as T-shirts at the Palazzo hotel-casino.

Las Vegas Sands Corp.'s Palazzo hotel-casino sued Palazzo Design Corp. of Houston on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

Attorneys for the hotel-casino said in the suit that the Houston company claims to have the exclusive rights to sell Palazzo clothing items -- a claim disputed by the Las Vegas Sands attorneys.

The lawsuit said Palazzo Design has offered to license or sell the trademark rights to the hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip -- and says the hotel-casino has been threatened with legal action if it doesn't make such a deal.

Las Vegas Sands, controlled by Chief Executive Sheldon Adelson, is asking the court to declare it has the rights to sell "Palazzo" clothing at its casino resort.

The Las Vegas Sands suit noted the Palazzo resort and its sister property, the adjacent Venetian hotel-casino, sell such clothing items for marketing purposes.

"Like many hotels and resorts, the properties contain gift shops and souvenir shops, which sell items which have the hotel names on them. This is done primarily to advertise the Venetian and Palazzo properties,' said the lawsuit, filed by attorneys Deanna Forbush and Lyssa Anderson of the Las Vegas firm Fox Rothschild LLP.

An attorney for Palazzo Design, which sells its goods on the Internet and in retail stores, told Las Vegas Sands in a June 26 letter that Palazzo Design has exclusive nationwide trademark rights in the "PALAZZO" name in connection with shirts, hats and other apparel.

"It has come to our client's attention that the Palazzo casino is marketing and selling shirts, hats and other apparel bearing (Palazzo Design's) protected mark," wrote attorney E. Randall Smith of the Houston law firm Jones & Smith LLP, which specializes in intellectual property law including patents, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets.

This is the second such lawsuit to be filed this week involving a Las Vegas hotel-casino. Earlier, Wynn Resorts' Encore resort sued an Atlanta hotel company over the "XS" trademark. That's the name of a nightclub at Encore on the Las Vegas Strip.