Caesars scores interim win in Octavius trademark lawsuit
25 October 2011
Caesars Entertainment Corp. of Las Vegas has scored an initial legal victory over a Florida man who claims to own the trademark to the name “Octavius Tower.”
Caesars is preparing to open its expanded 668-room Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace — the sixth hotel tower at the resort on the Las Vegas Strip.
Marcel July of Port Charlotte, Fla., and his company, Octavius Tower LLC, claim to own the “Octavius Tower” trademark and have been ordering Caesars to stop using that name for the tower, the first portion of which opened in 2009.
Caesars responded with a federal lawsuit in Las Vegas in April against July accusing him of trademark fraud.
The lawsuit charged that two days after Caesars announced plans in July 2007 to build Octavius Tower, July registered website domain names using the Octavius Tower name and the Caesars name, including octaviustower.com and caesarstower.com.
As the lawsuit progressed, July sought an injunction against Caesars Entertainment to block it from use of the “Octavius Tower” phrase.
U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro on Monday denied his bid for an injunction, ruling July had failed to meet his burden of proof that an injunction is warranted.
Navarro noted in her order that Caesars Entertainment in July 2007 had filed a trademark application for the Octavius Tower mark as it related to “hotel services,” but later abandoned the application because of delays in development of the tower. A second application was filed by Caesars in December 2010.
July, who says he founded a band called Octavius Tower in 1992, in 2009 received a trademark to the phrase Octavius Tower for “entertainment services.”
July, represented by Las Vegas attorney Michael Sanft of Sanft Law Group, argued in his preliminary injunction request that besides founding the international band in Germany, he had been using the Octavius Tower mark for broad entertainment and merchandising services.
Navarro didn’t buy those arguments, at least for the preliminary injunction stage of the case.
“Caesars makes strong arguments against July’s use of the mark that extinguishes July’s prima facie case,” Navarro wrote in Monday’s order.
The ruling did not close the case — the lawsuit will now likely continue with each side seeking a final order spelling out the rights to the Octavius Tower name.
Caesars is represented in the litigation by attorneys with the Las Vegas law firm Santoro, Driggs, Walch, Kearney, Johnson & Thompson as well as the Atlanta firm Alston & Bird LLP.
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