Sands wins ruling against online ‘cyber pirates’

Dec 24, 2001 7:15 AM

The Sands/Venetian organization recently struck a blow against cyber squatters who use names that don’t belong to them.

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), an arm of the United Nations, handed down a decision that will serve to protect the intellectual property rights of companies against cyber-squatters ”” those who unlawfully profit from the exploitative use of web site domain names.

WIPO has ruled in favor of Las Vegas Sands, Inc. (LVSI) in its web site domain-name dispute with “,” an off-shore on-line gaming company that was profiting from the unauthorized use of the “Sands” trademark.

LVSI, which owns The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino and is related to the Sands Expo and Convention Center, also licenses the Sands name to the property of the same name in Atlantic City.

“Protecting our intellectual property and trademark is a top priority. We operate in a heavily regulated industry, and it is important for our guests to know that we operate with the utmost integrity,” said David Friedman, Assistant to the Chairman of the Board, LVSI. “We’ve invested money and time in preserving our good name and we are not going to allow a cyber-pirate to tarnish our image and reputation.

“This fact alone should serve as assurance that Las Vegas Sands, Inc. will, without reservation, aggressively pursue organizations to a similar end. They should not doubt our resolve and determination to protect the Sands mark,” Friedman said.

“The ruling is not only precedent-setting, but adds to our legal arsenal as we expand our presence worldwide through our web site marketing. This victory is just the first step in preventing internet opportunists from profiting from the investment from the good will of the Sands and the entire gaming industry,” Friedman added.

In the suit, Las Vegas Sands, Inc. v. Red Group, (Case No. D2001-1057), WIPO ruled: “The Panel concludes...the domain name is confusingly similar to the trademark...and (the defendant) lacks rights or legitimate interests in the domain name at issue.”