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Monte Carlo vs Monte Carlo

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 1st December 2008 11:45am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4


SBM, the company which owns & operates the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco have sued MGM Mirage over trademark infringement for the term Monte Carlo.

Fortunately for us, the legal documents have been posted online - all 64 pages of em. If you can stomach the legelese, we've embedded the document below. Notable quotes include:

(page 10, #32:) Upon information and belief, Defendants (MGM Mirage) selected the term "Monte Carlo" in connection with their resort and casino in order to suggest the opulence, elegance, sophistication, and class customers would encounter were they to visit the real Casino de Monte Carlo of SBM, so as to confuse and mislead the public and create a false association between their casino and Plaintiff's.

Works for me... they didn't call it Monte Carlo to make one think it was a riverboat in Davenport Iowa.

(page 11 #37:) Defendants have further admitted to the USPTO (U.S. Patent & Trademark Office) that their intention in using the term "Monte Carlo" was to enable consumers "to experience the facade of [a] world-renown destination" and that it "has built a hotel casino that evokes the fantasy of being in a foreign land - Monte Carlo."

So what does SBM want?

(page 18 "Relief Requested") [Defendents] be permanently enjoined and restrained from:
1) Using... ...the term "Monte Carlo" or any colorable imitations thereof or anything confusingly similar thereto.
2) Representing... any affiliation of connection between Plaintiff or its services and goods and Defendants of their services and products and from otherwise unfairly competing with Plaintiff.
3) Registering, using or transferring the Monte Carlo domain names and from from using , copying, reproducing or imitating the Casino De Monte Carlo mark or any colorable imitations thereof or anything confusingly similar thereto.


...issue a written report by Defendants under oath setting forth the manner in which Defendants have complied with this injunction
... Monte Carlo Domain Names to be transferred to plaintiff
... recover damages sustained as a result of federal trademark infringement, unfair competition and cybersquatting, together with an accounting of profits arising from such activities.

Possibly the most interesting part of the document is the "Exhibits" which start at page 23. These include a scan of the original 1863 charter for the Casino de Monte Carlo and back and forth between Monte Carlo d/b/a/ Circus-Circus Enterprises (page 31) and the USPTO.

(Page 54-55 'Exhibit F' - USPTO 7/01) Consumers will not believe that they are in Monte Carlo while at Applicant's resort. Rather, the use of 'Monte Carlo' in the mark is merely used to suggest images of European style. [...]

Las Vegas is also home to the Stratosphere, a casino resort that towers over the city at approximately 1,100 feet. While tall and similarly shaped, this building is not the actual stratosphere. Clearly, consumers come to Las Vegas to experience the facade of world-renown destinations. Peopel are able to visit Las Vegas and pretend that they are in Paris, New York or Rio de Janeiro. They can pretent that they are on the Riviera or in the stratosphere. Las Vegas visitors can indulge in the fantasy of being somewhere that they are not.



Comments & Discussion:

Uhhh....the Monte Carlo in Vegas opened in 1996 and they're just now suing them over the name? Someone is a little behind on the times.

Really? Are they that stupid to think that we are that stupid? I never thought that when i was in Paris or NYNY or the Strat that when i stepped back outside onto the strip that i wouldn't be in Vegas. Appartently the real monte carloians (sp?) have had their heads buried in a game of Baccarat since 1996 when MC (las vegas) opened, and only now realized that a 3 star hotel (which seemed pretty nice to me when i was there, don't get me wrong) exists outside their world. It seems to me that only billionaires can afford to go to the real MC, and if they are billionaires, then they would have the sense to know the difference, or at least could hire the people to teach them the difference.

how truly pathetic.

The potential results of this case fill me with an overwhelming sense of apathy, much like the Plaza vs. Plaza battle.

I heard that Sheldon Adelson decided to be proactive and sue Venice, Italy for using the Venetian's likeness in their city.

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