Thursday, January 29, 2009

Logo History of "The Big Game"


It’s that time of the year again – when a trademark attorney’s fancy turns to stories of the National Football League’s SUPER BOWL® brand championship football game. It’s almost become a perennial favorite trademark story to write about the NFL’s aggressive efforts to quash third party use of the SUPER BOWL mark in connection with the sale of third party goods or the commercial hosting of parties to watch “The Big Game.” (last year's blog entry here).

This year, however, the New York Times serves up a story about the history and evolution of the logos used for the Super Bowl (article here). The article describes the logos as not only illustrating the annual game, but also “ draw a line through the league’s growth, the trends of graphic design, even the vagaries of one nation’s popular culture.” All 43 logos can be viewed here (or by clicking on the picture below).

(HT: Marty Schwimmer – who noted these more interesting “alternative logos” submitted by fans).

And given the state of economic affairs and the sentiment of the nation during this year's Super Bowl, is there a more appropo logo than the following logo designed by Michael Strassburger (Modern Dog Design Co. in Seattle, Washington)?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sammy Hagar files lawsuit against CABO WABO licensee

I always find it interesting when a lawsuit seemingly flies under radar screen of the press -- until one reporter writes a story about it and suddenly the news is everywhere (or perhaps reporters, like bloggers, sometimes don’t have time to investigate stories and simply report other reporter’s stories).

This seems to be the case with a trademark infringement lawsuit filed over a month ago by Red Head, Inc. (“Red Head”) against Fresno Rock Taco LLC (“Rock Taco”) over a Cabo Wabo Cantina restaurant franchise opened by Rock Taco in Fresno California. See Red Head, Inc. v. Fresno Rock Taco LLC, Case No. 08-cv-05703 (N.D. Cal. Filed December 22, 2008). A few days ago, there was a brief mention of the dispute in the Fresno Bee along with a posting of the complaint (which I’ve combined and posted here). It didn’t take long for the story to be picked up by San Jose Mercury News and Fresno ABC affiliate KFSN-TV (which provides a detailed “fair and balanced” report of the dispute).

The Cabo Wabo brand was originally developed by former Van Halen front man Sammy Hagar, who later assigned such rights to Red Head for marketing and licensing purposes. While the current owner of the intellectual property related to CABO WABO (or at least the named owner of numerous federal registrations and pending applications for the marks CABO WABO and CABO WABO CANTINA) appears to be Cabo Wabo, LLC, Red Head is apparently still tasked with the business of marketing and enforcing such rights.

Cabo Wabo Tequila

Red Head entered into a license agreement dated December 7, 2006, with Rock Taco to open a Cabo Wabo Cantina in the Fresno, California development of Village of Granite Park. Rock Taco is run by Milton Barbis, the developer of Granite Park. The restaurant opened in August 2008 and while the complaint indicates that the restaurant was open at the time of filing, the above ABC report indicates that the restaurant did in fact close in December. (The Fresno Bee has a background story here on the financial troubles faced by Barbis and the Granite Park development – another victim of the tightening credit markets).

The lawsuit alleges that Rock Taco never made any royalty payments the entire time the restaurant was open except for one check that bounced, and that instead, Barbis diverted all funds from the restaurant to other parts of the Granite Park development.

Red Head notified Rock Taco on November 6, 2008 that Rock Taco was in breach of its license agreement. When Rock Taco supposedly failed to cure such breaches, Red Head sent a second letter indicating that Rock Taco’s license to the CABO WABO trademarks and trade dress was terminated and that Rock Taco had to cease using the CABO WABO trademarks and trade dress and Hagar’s likeness by December 14th.

The lawsuit describes the Fresno Cabo Wabo Cantina as a “disaster . . .much like the entire Granite Park development” and puts much of the blame on the Barbis himself and his poor management of the restaurant and the Granite Park development in general. The complaint alleges that Barbis’ failure to pay employees, vendors, lenders, and even the City of Fresno damaged the Cabo Wabo brand and Sammy Hagar’s name.

Of course, there are two sides to every story. And while I have not reviewed the more recent filings with the court, Barbis apparently claims that Hagar did not live up to an agreement on his part to perform two concerts -- instead only performing one for which Barbis paid $27,000 (although Hagar claims that this check also bounced).

Red Head’s causes of action are for 1) federal registered trademark Infringement (15 U.S.C. §1114); 2) federal unfair competition (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)); 3) false designation of origin (15 U.S.C. § 1125(a)); 4) trademark infringement and dilution under California law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§1432 et seq.); 5) unfair competition under California law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17200 et seq.); 6) false advertising under California law (Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 17500 et seq.); 7) violation of Hagar’s right of publicity (Cal. Civ. Code §3344); and 8) breach of contract.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Trader Joe’s Reaches Settlement Over “Trader John’s”

Looks like the trademark dispute between Trader Joe’s Co. and Gristedes Foods Inc. (previously blogged here) over the latter company’s planned use of the name “Trader John’s” in connection with a chain of grocery stores appears to have been settled.

On January 22, 2009, the parties sent a joint letter to the court requesting that the temporary restraining order entered by the court on January 14, 2009, be extended an additional 10 days while the parties work out the details of a settlement agreement which apparently had been reached in principle on January 15, 2009. The letter was endorsed by the court on January 23, 2009.

So I guess John Catsimatidis, the billionaire CEO of Gristede’s Foods, had second thoughts about the viability of his “fair use” defense of the name “Trader John’s” because his name is John and he is a trader.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Utah Company Goes After Counterfeit “Male Chastity” Belts


You learn something new every day.

On January 21, 2009, A.L. Enterprises, Inc. (“ALE”), a Nevada corporation doing business in Price, Utah, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah against Latitudes International (“Latitudes”), a company based in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, and Latitudes’ manager, Gordon Douglas. See A.L. Enterprises v. Latitudes International et al, Case No. 09-cv-00050 (D. Utah Jan. 21, 2009). A copy of the complaint can be downloaded here.

ALE is the manufacturer of a line of “male chastity belts” which it sells through its website http://www.cb-2000.com/. Among its products are the CB-3000, CB-6000, and The Curve (pictured above, which ALE promotes as “Designed for the longer male.”). ALE has even received federal trademark registrations for CB-3000 (for "Devices conducive to male chastity, namely, chastity belts for men") and CB-6000 (for the same descriptions of goods as the CB-3000, but also for “Adult sexual aids conducive to male chastity, namely, chastity restraints for men” which is treated as a different classification of goods at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office). For those of you interested in seeing some pictures of the “belts” at issue, click here and here (Warning: mature audience only).

According to the complaint, Latitudes is selling counterfeit versions of ALE’s products at two websites, http://www.chastitydeviceformen.com/ and http://www.latitudes-international.com/. Indeed, the website does appear to be offering the same three types of “devices” that ALE sells and using the same trademarks to identify its goods (The Curve, the CB-3000, and the CB-6000).

ALE's CB-3000



Latitudes’ CB-3000


In order to establish a basis for jurisdiction over the Canadian company, ALE hired a Utah investigator to purchase two of Latitudes’ products from its website and have them shipped to Utah. According to ALE, the products are counterfeits and not either grey market goods or product overruns.

ALE’s causes of action are for trademark infringement, counterfeiting, federal and state unfair competition, and intentional interference with economic relations.

For those of you interested in a little something different (assuming this kind of thing isn't different enough for you), check out ALE’s Wood Grain Design for the CB-6000 – it’s simulated wood design gives it a “warm, earthy feel.”

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Who do you think of WHEN YOU THINK OF MOUSE PADS?

On January 20, 2009, Las Vegas-based Time's Up, Inc. (“Time’s Up”), which specializes in making various types of promotional mouse pads, filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against a Georgia-based promotional products company named ActNow Media, Inc. (“ActNow”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. See Time's Up, Inc. v. ActNow Media, Inc., Case No. 09-cv-00131 (D. Nev. Filed Jan. 20, 2009). A copy of the complaint can be downloaded here.

Time’s Up is the owner of the registered trademark DIGISPEC for “Computer accessories, namely, mouse pads and wrist rests” and sells its promotional mouse pad products through its website www.digispec.com.

According to the complaint, Time’s Up also markets its mouse pads and related computer accessories using the slogans “WHEN YOU THINK OF MOUSE PADS …THINK OF DIGISPEC” and “WHEN YOU THINK OF MOUSE PADS… DIGISPEC” (the “WYTOMP Marks”) and has been doing so for over eleven years.

Of course, despite eleven years of use, Time’s Up did not bother to seek federal registration of such marks until January 9, 2009, when Time’s Up filed four trademark registration applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for each of the two WYTOMP Marks for two classes of services (“online retail sales, catalog sales and wholesale distribution of mouse pads, counter mats, coasters, notepads, calendars, cups and containers” and “custom manufacturing of mouse pads, counter mats, coasters, notepads, calendars, cups and containers”) claiming first use as early as January 1998 (WHEN YOU THINK OF MOUSE PADS… DIGISPEC (class 35 and class 40) and WHEN YOU THINK OF MOUSE PADS... THINK OF DIGISPEC (class 35 and class 40)).

According to the complaint, around January 6, 2009, ActNow distributed a flyer via e-mail which advertised its own line of mouse pads and computer accessories (a copy of the flyer is attached to the complaint). Across the top of the e-flyer in large bold type is the heading “When You Think of Mouse Pads and Counter Mats.” The rest of the flyer shows a collage of the products sold by ActNow, including ActNow's own MOUSE MESSAGES mouse pads and MAT MESSAGES Counter Mats but also apparently Time’s Up's own DIGISPEC mouse pads.

Time’s Up maintains that ActNow’s title in its flyer is confusingly similar to its WYTOMP Marks, that ActNow is attempting to cause consumer confusion and to trade on the goodwill built up by Time’s Up in the WYTOMP Marks, and that ActNow’s use of this title is likely to cause consumers to wrongfully believe that ActNow is affiliated with Time’s Up or to cause “initial interest confusion” in order to entice consumers to read the advertisements by making consumers “initially” believe the advertisement is associated with Time’s Up

Time’s Up causes of action causes of action are for federal trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a) [mistakenly labeled 1125(c) in the complaint], federal unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a), common law trademark infringement, and deceptive trade practices (passing off and false representation as to source) under Nevada law (N.R.S. § 598.0915). Time’s Up seeks injunctive relief as well as the usual claims for damages, costs, and attorney’s fees.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mr. President vs. Mr. Fluffy

On a day when everyone is thinking about the Inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, thanks to The TTABlog®, all I can think about is Mister Fluffy.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Prilosec's New Heartburn Mascot Looks Familiar


Anybody else think that Burnie Abdominal Arsonist, the "flame character" in the new PRILOSEC OTC commercials, looks like the Kool-Aid Man?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

American Idol goes after Texas Strip Club Over “Stripper Idol”

I feel like I should have a write-up about the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by the company behind “American Idol” against Palazio Men's Club, an Austin, Texas strip club that hosts a weekly amateur stripping contest that the club promotes as “Stripper Idol.” After all, The Dallas Morning News had an article on the lawsuit yesterday, and since that time, multiple news reports have picked up on the story (e.g., NY Daily News, Portfolio.com, and E!Online).

I guess the reason I passed on the story when I read about it yesterday was because the lawsuit was actually filed over a month ago – which makes it “old news” in the blogging world. Besides, one particular blog – Fouman.com – already did a pretty good write-up back when the complaint was still fresh and new.

FremantleMedia North America, Inc. is the owner of the “American Idol” brand and frequent trademark opponent against a host of trademark applicants who filed marks containing the word IDOL in them following the success of the TV show in 2002 (see list of TTAB oppositions here). So it should come as no surprise that FremantleMedia decided to take legal action against Benelux Corporation and its owner, Athanases Stamatopoulos, over its weekly “Stripper Idol” contests. See Fremantlemedia North America, Inc. v. Benelux Corporation et al, Case No. 08-cv-00908 (W.D. Tex. Filed December 16, 2008). A copy of the complaint can be downloaded here.

But one wonders why all of the publicity now over a lawsuit that became public well over a month ago? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact that American Idol premiered its latest season yesterday – and word of this “interesting” lawsuit is getting the program some much needed publicity with ratings on the decline for the perennial "karaoke" show?

So is American Idol worried having consumers falsely believe that there is an association between its American Idol and this Texas strip club contest or that their use of the Idol name will dilute their “Idol” brand. Or perhaps FremantleMedia is considering broadening the Idol brand to include stripping contests? After all, they came close last night – those who saw the show last night – in particular, Katrina Darrell (the “bikini girl”) – know what I’m talking about. And for the rest of you, click here for video.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Silly Company! TRIX are for . . . chips?

At least that is the position that General Mills IP Holdings II, LLC, the intellectual property holding company for General Mills which owns numerous trademark registrations for the mark TRIX, is taking in an opposition filed with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.

On January 13, 2009, General Mills filed an opposition against the pending intent-to-use application filed by Productos Alimenticios Bocadeli S.A. de C.V. (“PAB”) for the mark QUESITRIX for “vegetable chips” (in class 29) and “grain-based chips” (in Class 30). See General Mills IP Holdings II, LLC v. Productos Alimenticios Bocadeli S.A. de C.V., Opposition No. 91188373 (T.T.A.B. Filed January 13, 2009). A copy of the Opposition can be downloaded here.

At first, it may seem like General Mills is overreaching a bit in attempting to oppose PAB’s registration application for QUESITRIX for chips when General Mills’ mark is TRIX for cereal related product.

However, if you look at General Mills’ actual opposition filing, you learn that, according to General Mills, PAB may be using packaging outside of the United States which depicts the words “QUESI” and “TRIX” on separate lines, with the word “TRIX” in a larger font than the word “QUESI.” General Mills believes that PAB intends to use similar type of packaging for its products in the United States.

A small little fact like that can make all the difference in changing the image of what at first looks like an abusive corporation overreaching in the scope of its trademark rights to the image of a company just trying to prevent the very likely possibility of consumer confusion in the marketplace given the fame of the “TRIX” brand and PAB’s likely use of its mark in commerce.

Then again, below is a picture of goods produce by PAB. If you look closely at the top row, second bag from the right, you can see the “infringing” packaging. You be the judge.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Trader Joe’s Sues New York Grocery Chain Over Trader John’s

Earlier this week (link here), I wrote about the Larry Flynt’s nephews being sued because they distributed an adult movie under the company name Flynt Media Corporation. Their logic was that they have every right to use the name “Flynt” as a business name because its their name.

Yesterday, the news was about John Catsimatidis, the CEO of Gristede’s Foods Inc., the owner of the Gristede’s supermarket chain in New York City. The popularity of Gristede’s in New York has apparently been languishing with the number of stores declining from 78 stores in 2000 to 35 stores in 2008.

Catsimatidis, a billionaire and potential mayoral candidate for New York City, decided to change the look of one particular store on 14th Street in Manhattan as an “experiment.” His idea for the name of this rebranded store came from the fact that his name is John and he is a trader, ergo call it “Trader John’s.” No one should have a problem with that, right?

Trader John's on 14th Street
(Photo Credit: The Shophound)

Well, no one except the Trader Joe’s Company Corporation – the California company that owns the chain of 326 Trader Joe’s grocery stores throughout the United with estimated current annual revenue of around $7.2 billion – including a store on 14th Street in Manhattan which is apparently so popular that shoppers often have to stand in line just to get inside and shop, and which also, coincidentally, is just three blocks away from the “Trader John’s” location. Trader Joe’s holds numerous registrations for the mark TRADER JOE’S including one for “specialty grocery store services.”

Trader Joe's on 14th Street

And did I mention that Catsimatidis also came up with the “unique” idea of decorating his store with “wood paneling, wagon wheels, and baskets.” No one has a grocery store that looks quite like that, right?

Not surprisingly, Trader Joe’s filed suit to stop Gristede’s from opening the “Trader John’s” store – set to open sometime next week – after previous cease and desist letters were apparently ignored. Bloomberg, Forbes, and the NY Post all had news reports on the lawsuit.

While I have not seen the complaint, Trader Joe’s is apparently claiming both trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, as well as trademark dilution (dilution by blurring and dilution by tarnishment) of its famous grocery name (among other likely state and common laws trademark related causes of action). The tarnishment argument is apparently supported in part by numerous online postings commenting on the shoddy conditions found by such consumers at Gristede’s stores. The trade dress argument attacks Catsimatidis creation of a store which mimics the look and feel of a Trader Joe’s store, which Trader Joe’s will undoubtedly maintain has acquired a secondary meaning as identifying their grocery stores. [While I’m not so sure I agree that the type of interior used by Trader Joe’s has acquired a particular distinctiveness as identifying Trader Joe’s exclusively, when the trade dress is combined with a similar sounding mark, it is certainly supportive of a likelihood of confusion as well as strong evidence of an attempt by Catsimatidis to infringe upon the Trader Joe’s – not only naming your store with a similar mark, but then giving it a similar look].

One wonders how a man who was able to become a billionaire can honestly say with a straight face that he has the right to rename his stores “Trader John’s” just because his name is John and he is a trader. And is there anybody out there that doesn’t think that he chose this particular name in order to take advantage of the goodwill built up in the “Trader Joe’s” name?

What’s next – his use of the name “Trader John’s” does not infringe the “Trader Joe’s” registered trademark for “specialty grocery stores” because he plans for his grocery stores to be very average, ordinary grocery stores that will be not be selling any “specialty” goods?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Monster Cable and Monster Mini Golf Reach Amicable Resolution to Trademark Battle



Like many other blogs, I previously wrote (link here) about the trademark infringement battle between Monster Mini Golf and Monster Cable Products, Inc.

Yesterday, the “Stop the Bully” webpage created by Monster Mini Golf after being embroiled in a trademark dispute with Monster Cable reported that the parties reached an amicable resolution to their dispute – with Monster Cable dropping the lawsuit and the opposition against Monster Mini Golf thereby allowing Monster Mini Golf to proceed with registering its mark MONSTER MINI GOLF. WebProNews had an article about the settlement. If you want to get Monster Cable’s own perspective of the ongoing events surrounding the case, you can read their own webpage “Monster Truth on Monster Mini Golf.”

Noel Lee, president of Monster Cable Products (or as he likes to call himself, “The Head Monster”), apparently spoke with Christina and Patrick Vitagliano, the owners of Monster Mini Golf, about the situation and followed-up with a letter to them (which you can read in its entirety here).

Noel Lee
(not such a Monster after all)


While I’m always happy to see a small business owner faced with the costly prospect of having to litigate a specious trademark infringement lawsuit brough by a goliath corporation reach an amicable resolution – and even more impressed by the fact that Mr. Lee has apparently agreed to reimburse the Vitaglianos for their attorneys fees – I get the impression that Mr. Lee settled only because of the public backlash and not because he recognized the overreaching nature of his claims of infringement and dilution. His letter reads:
I will say that this is a landmark kind of situation, as public opinion wins over what is the right thing to do for trademark protection of a famous mark. We have made the decision that public opinion, and that of our valued customers is more important than the letter of the law that requires us to prevent the dilution of our mark risk losing it.
The “right thing” to do for trademark protection of a famous mark? Lee is acknowledging that in his opinion the “right thing” to do would be for a company like Monster Mini Golf to be prevented from using the word MONSTER in connection with a mini-golf course. Lee honestly believes that allowing a company like Monster Mini Golf to operate under that name diminishes Monster Cable’s claims to protection of its MONSTER mark under federal trademark dilution law (which protects “famous” marks from even non-confusing use by others where such use dilutes the value of such famous mark). So why hasn’t Lee and Monster Cable gone after drink maker Monster Energy or job hunting website Monster.com? These would seem to diminish Monster Cable’s claim to fame as much as (if not more than) Monster Mini Golf. What is it about these two companies’ use of the word MONSTER in connection with their goods and services that did not “require” Monster Cable to take action “to prevent the dilution of our mark risk losing it”?

Finally, its disingenuous for Lee to assert that the law requires Monster to prevent dilution of Monster’s mark “or risk losing it.” At most, Monster Cable, by not going after every single company in the world using the word MONSTER in connection with there business (regardless of the goods or services sold), weakens its ability to rely upon federal dilution law to attack companies using the word MONSTER in a non-confusing way on non-competing goods. But Monster Cable is not going to “risk losing” its trademark rights to the MONSTER mark in connection with cables and other similar goods sold by Monster Cable merely by allowing some mini-golf course to go by the name Monster Mini Golf.

Of course, I don’t want to come off too critical of Mr. Lee because, by settling this matter in the way he did and reimbursing the couple for their attorney’s fees, he did indeed do something very good and worthy of praise – even if he may have done it for the wrong reasons.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Larry Flynt Sues Nephews for Trademark Infringement and Dilution


Flynt Publications Building in Beverly Hills, California


The LA Times and AP reported on the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt on Monday against his nephews, Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt, over their decision to start their own adult film distribution company named Flynt Media Corporation. The Flynt brothers had worked for their uncle for over a decade, but Larry Flynt reportedly fired them for being “unproductive,” but giving them each a $100,000 severance package which they then used to start up their new company.

Given the widespread notoriety of both Larry Flynt and Larry Flynt Publications in connection with the porn industry, it’s very likely that consumers would wrongly affiliate a porn company named Flynt Media Corporation with Larry Flynt and/or Larry Flynt Publications, which, to the extent that Flynt cannot control the “quality” of the company’s offerings, could cause irreparable harm to Flynt’s goodwill (if that’s what you want to call it).

Some may argue that the Flynt brothers have the right to use their own name and that this is a case of a big bully picking on the little guys. While I’m the first person to stand up for the little guys in the face of a big bully corporation's flexing their trademark muscles, people forget that trademark law is designed to protect consumers in the marketplace. The brothers do not have the right to use a business name that is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace -- even if they do have some bona fide basis for the name.

Besides, did they really need to operate under the name Flynt Media Corporation? Why couldn’t they have chosen JDF Media Corporation or even something like Flynt Brothers Media Corporation? The additional word “Brothers” after Flynt goes a long way towards preventing consumer confusion -- and at the same time allows the brothers to use their name for the business. Or did they choose to just go with their particular business name because they knew that having just the “Flynt” name by itself might make some people believe that it is associated with Larry Flynt which would probably help open some doors for a company seeking to make it big in the already very-crowded field of adult entertainment? That’s called “trading on goodwill” – and that’s unfair competition.
[Update: The Los Angeles Intellectual Property Trademark Attorney Blog has copies of both the First Amended Complaint as well as the Temporary Restraining Order granted by the Court.]

Monday, January 5, 2009

Harrah’s Sues Indiana Strip Club Over “Horseshoe” Trademark

On December 30, 2008, Harrah's License Company, LLC – the IP holding company for Harrah's Operating Company, Inc., the owner and operator of over 38 casinos worldwide – filed a lawsuit against Indiana resident John Mattingly in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. See Harrah's License Company, LLC v. Mattingly, Case No. 08-cv-00219 (S.D. Ind.). A copy of the complaint can be downloaded here.

Back in 2004, Harrah’s acquired all of the intellectual property then owned by Binion’s Horseshoe – most famously known for “The World Series of Poker” – after Binion’s Horseshoe was forced to shut down following the seizure of all of the casino’s money by federal agents in order to satisfy a judgment owed to several unions.

As part of the purchase, Harrah’s acquired the “Horseshoe” name, including several trademark registrations for casino services and hotel, restaurant and bar services. As part of its use of the “Horseshoe” name, Harrah’s has used the following logo:

Harrah’s operates five casinos under the HORSESHOE name including two in Indiana (one in Elizabeth, Indiana and the other in Hammond, Indiana).

According to the complaint, Mattingly owned a night club named “The Rustic Frog” in New Albany, Indiana for many years. Sometime in November 2008, Mattingly converted the club into a strip club and began operating the club under the name II HORSESHOES GENTLEMEN’S CLUB. (Click here for a background article on controversy surrounding the club’s opening). In addition to the HORSESHOES name, the club purportedly uses a similar type of horseshoe logo as that used by Harrah’s (the low quality pictures can be viewed in the complaint – I was unable to find any online pictures of the logo Mattingly supposedly uses). Mattingly’s club is only 8 miles away from Harrah’s Elizabeth, Indiana location and supposedly on the major highway that leads from New Albany to the casino.

Harrah’s causes of action are for federal trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. §1114, federal unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. §1125(a), federal trademark dilution under 15 U.S.C. §1125(c), common law trademark infringement and unfair competition, and trademark dilution under Indiana law (Ind. Code §24-2-1-13.5).



The Famous Million Dollar Display at Binion's Horseshoe
(previously purchased by a collector in 2000 but brought back in 2008)