Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bellagio Hotel & Casino Sues Mattress Maker Over BELLAGIO mark

Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada

Bellagio, LLC, the Mirage Resorts Incorporated (“MRI”) subsidiary which owns the Bellagio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, has sued Italian mattress maker Magniflex USA, Ltd. (“Magniflex”) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada over Magniflex’s use of the mark BELLAGIO in connection with bed mattresses. See Bellagio LLC et al v. Magniflex USA, Ltd., Case No. 10-cv-01311 (D. Nev. Filed August 4, 2010). A copy of the complaint can be downloaded here (HT: Steve Green). The Las Vegas Sun has coverage of the lawsuit filing and Magniflex’s reaction to the lawsuit.

In the complaint, Bellagio alleges that it has been selling BELLAGIO mattresses since at least as early as 2001 through a retail store located at the Bellagio or through its website. Click here to see the section of Bellagio’s website selling “Serta mattresses, exclusively created for Bellagio” [Query: So are these Serta-brand mattresses or Bellagio-brand mattresses? And does Bellagio exercise quality control over the mattresses that Serta creates for it?]

Bellagio’s website

Of course, if Bellagio had been selling such mattresses for all that time, then one wonders why MRI chose to file trademark registration applications on February 3, 2010, for the mark BELLAGIO (word mark and stylized) in connection with “mattresses” on the basis of intent-to-use (as opposed to use-in-commerce). Both applications were provisionally refused registration based on the pending application for the mark BELLAGIO for various furniture goods – which itself was provisionally refused registration based on an existing registration for the mark BELLAGIO LUXURY for future goods. However, the applicant of the BELLAGIO furniture mark recently expressly abandoned its application (after abandoning its effort to cancel the BELLAGIO LUXURY MARK ), so there is nothing likely standing in the way of MRI’s applications moving forward towards publication.

Bellagio’s exclusively designed Serta® mattress

Bellagio first became aware of Magniflex’s mattresses at the Spring 2010 High Point Furniture Market in High Point, N.C. Magniflex showcased its Bellagio mattresses again at the bi-annual Las Vegas Market furniture industry event at the World Market Center in Las Vegas. Bellagio alleges in its complaint that Magniflex is selling a line of mattresses using the BELLAGIO mark that is likely to cause confusion with Bellagio’s use of the BELLAGIO mark in connection with its specially made Serta® mattresses. Bellagio also claims that Magniflex’s use of the BELLAGIO mark is likely to cause dilution of Bellagio’s famous BELLAGIO mark under federal trademark dilution law.

Magniflex’s Bellagio Lavender mattress

In a statement issued after hearing of the lawsuit, Magniflex’s President Marco Magni stated that its “Bellagio Lavender” line of mattresses were named after the town Bellagio in the Como province in Northern Italy located on Lake Como (which just so happens to have also served as the inspiration for Steve Wynn when he originally built the Bellagio Hotel & Casino). Magni stated that the Bellagio name is meant to pay homage to the Italian city and to be synonymous with fine Italian craftsmanship (Magniflex also maintains that it is one of Italy’s largest mattress manufacturers and sells its products throughout the world).
(Photo Credit: Marcus90)

Bellagio’s causes of action are for federal trademark infringement, federal trademark dilution, federal unfair competition, and common law unfair competition. Bellagio seeks injunctive relief as well as damages, costs, and attorneys fees.

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