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Sands wins shutdown of 42 websites in suit

A federal judge has ordered dozens of websites shut down for infringing on Las Vegas Sands Corp. trademarks and told website hosting companies not to transfer them to other registrars.

U.S. District Judge James Mahan approved a preliminary injunction Feb. 17 against the sites and ordered them to be shut down to prevent Las Vegas Sands from suffering “irreparable injury to its valuable trademarks and associated goodwill.”

The order requires website registration sites GoDaddy.com, eNom, PublicDomainRegistry.com and VeriSign to immediately shut down 42 website domains Las Vegas Sands named as new defendants in December. The order also requires the registration sites to hold the website registrations and not transfer them to other domain registrars or others outside of the court’s jurisdiction.

Mahan said Las Vegas Sands likely would win its case against the defendant sites, and that the injunction will “protect consumers against deception and confusion arising from the use” of the Sands trademarks.

Las Vegas Sands in January won a permanent injunction and a $2 million award against 35 websites and their unknown owners.

Las Vegas Sands owns several well-known properties, including The Venetian and Palazzo hotel-casinos and the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, the Sands Macau, The Venetian Macao, the Four Seasons Hotel Macau, the Sands Cotai Central in Macau and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Las Vegas Sands in June filed a complaint against the unknown registrants of 35 websites that use the company’s Sands trademark, its Chinese equivalent, and The Venetian trademark.

The infringing sites use trademarked designs, including The Venetian’s winged lion, a background image of the Marina Bay Sands and other infringing materials on web pages that have Chinese writing and links to other sites.

The online casinos offer casino games, such as keno, blackjack, baccarat, roulette and Texas hold’em, according to the lawsuit. The sites also let visitors set up accounts and gamble after providing their credit card or banking information.

Las Vegas Sands said in its complaint that it opposes legalization of Internet gaming in the United States and is a “strong supporter” of the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.

The injunction is in the case Las Vegas Sands Corp. v First Cagayan Leisure &Resort Corp., et al.

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