On Dec. 1, MGM Resorts International filed suit against four individuals and two companies for trademark infringement. The lawsuit claimed that each of the defendants registered poker-related websites between 2002 and 2005 that used names of MGM properties.
One of the defendants in the case has filed a motion to dismiss, according to a report by VegasInc.com. Adam Majewski, who has owned the rights to the domain name excaliburpoker.com since 2005, claims that his site doesn’t infringe on MGM’s Excalibur Hotel Casino trademark. Majewski’s court filing says that the Excalibur mark is not distinctive and that thousands of businesses use the name, including "Excalibur Bowling, Excalibur Taxi and even Excalibur Condoms."
"Recent changes in Nevada law have opened up the prospect for Internet gambling," Majewski’s response said, according to the report. "Late to the feeding frenzy, MGM wants to leverage the well-known names of its hotels in Las Vegas."
Majewski admits to being an entrepreneur involved in online gaming, Internet marketing and social media. However, he said he’s deliberately stayed away from Nevada with his online poker ventures. His filing says he registered domain names such as BostonFreePoker.com with the purpose of creating games that would allow players to compete against others in their hometown for prizes offered by local advertisers.
MGM claimed in its lawsuit charges that each of the defendants was trying to capitalize on the billions of dollars MGM spent advertising and promotions for its properties over the years. Attorneys for MGM Resorts requested a temporary restraining order against the defendants that would block them from using the domain names.
On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Philip Pro issued a preliminary injunction requested by MGM Resorts International against Majewski and the other defendants. The injunction blocks the owners of the sites from transferring the website names to a new domain name registrar or transferring their registrations to other people, according to the VegasInc.com report.
The other sites listed in the trademark infringement lawsuit are ariapoker.com, bellagioonlinepoker.com, circuscircuspoker.com, luxorpoker.com, mandalaybayonlinepoker.com and mgmpoker.com.
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*Photo courtesy of lasvegasgateway.com.