Monday, April 20, 2009

Station Casinos Follows MGM’s Lead in Cybersquatting Lawsuit Against Panamanian Company

The Las Vegas Sun had an article today (link here) about the cybersquatting lawsuit filed by Stations Casinos on April 17, 2009, against a Panamanian company named Smart Answer, S.A. (“Smart Answer”) and a Panamanian resident affiliated with the company named Susana Gonzales. See Station Casinos, Inc. v. Smart Answer, S.A. et al., Case 09-cv-00692 (D. Nev.).

The lawsuit is the third in a string of cybersquatting actions brought against Smart Answer by Las Vegas casinos. The first was MGM Mirage Operations, Inc. v. Gonzales et al, Case No. 08-cv-01543 (D. Nev. Filed November 7, 2008). This lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed on March 24, 2009. The second was Bellagio LLC et al v. Smart Answer S.A. et al, Case No. 08-cv-01569 (D. Nev. Filed November 13, 2008). A copy of the complaint filed in that case (which appears to be the form used against this company) can be viewed here.

No doubt the latest lawsuit will follow the same pattern as the second lawsuit – Complaint and Temporary Restraining Order, followed by Motion for Preliminary Injunction (served by e-mail), then Motion to deem email service on the Defendants effective under FRCP 4, then Entry of Default, followed by Motion for Default Judgment (seeking the maximum statutory damages per domain name) which will be entered by the Court.

According to the LV Sun article, the second lawsuit resulted in a default judgment of $2.2 million for the infringement of the trademarks owned by Bellagio, Circus Circus, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York and Treasure Island. Not surprisingly, the successful plaintiffs in that case are not currently pursuing collection of the $2.2 million judgment – apparently content with having acquired the allegedly infringing domain names (and having nothing to do with the difficulties of enforcing a judgment against a foreign company).

No comments: