PETALING JAYA: After a tiff with Walt Disney for abandoning the 20th Century Fox theme park, the Genting Group is facing a lawsuit from another formidable American company.
The Genting Group’s Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV) casino project has been accused of being similar in terms of the architectural design of the Wynn Resort hotel.
Wynn Las Vegas and RWLV are located opposite each other at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip.
The point of concern is the similarity of the architectural trade dress of the buildings.
Wynn Resort buildings are known for their architectural building design consisting of a three-dimensional building with concave facade, and curved, bronze glass, coupled with horizontal banding above and between the lines of glass panes.
Last Friday, Wynn Resorts Holdings LLC filed a lawsuit with the US District Court listing five counts: federal trade dress infringement; unfair competition and false designation of origin; federal trademark dilution; state trademark dilution; and copyright infringement.
The lawsuit also included photographs of design elements in RWLV’s US$4bil 3,000-room casino hotel project.
In the midst of construction, RWLV is targeted for opening in late 2020.
In the lawsuit, Wynn said with RWLV using the trade dress that is “confusingly similar”, it would mislead the consuming public into falsely believing that it is affiliated with, sponsored by or associated with Wynn.
Wynn is seeking an injunction prohibiting Resort World’s use of Wynn’s trade dress as well as an order requiring Resort World to “remove any materials or goods that constituted infringing trade dress from its RWLV hotel and casino that is currently under construction.”
Wynn also wanted to be awarded any profits resulting from the use of the colours and architectural style as well as exemplary and punitive damages.
In the suit, Wynn said that upon information and belief, Genting had visited a Las Vegas, Nevada architect and requested that it produced an identical or substantially similar design and trade dress for purposes of trading upon the goodwill and reputation of Wynn’s trade dress and architectural design.
In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Genting acknowledged that a complaint dated Dec 21, was filed by Wynn Resorts against RWLV alleging trade dress infringement, trademark dilution and copyright infringement over the design of RWLV’s upcoming Resorts World Las Vegas hotel and casino resort property.
“RWLV is in the process of reviewing the complaint with its legal counsels and will strenuously defend the claim and take all necessary legal action, as appropriate.
“RWLV intends to file a timely response to the complaint on or before Jan 14, the due date for such response,” it said.
It added that it would make the necessary announcements as and when required on any material development of the matter.
Meanwhile, Wynn added in the lawsuit that “if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Wynn should feel very flattered right about now”.
“We’ve heard that Genting Group, the owners of Resorts World, may make a play to purchase Wynn Resorts, so the similarity between the hotels could very well be intentional,” said the lawsuit.
Wynn Resorts Ltd is a developer and operator of high-end hotels and casinos. It was founded in 2002 by former Mirage Resorts chairman and CEO Steve Wynn, and is now run by CEO Matthew Maddox.
Wynn Resorts is the parent of Macau casino operator Wynn Macau Ltd. Wynn Macau opened on Sept 5, 2006 and is now the largest-grossing casino in the region.
Meanwhile, Encore, is an extension of the Wynn brand. Encore at Wynn Macau, opened on April 21, 2010.
A second resort in Macau, Wynn Palace on the Cotai Strip, opened on Aug 22, 2016.
These buildings are known for their curved, bronze-coloured glass-fronted style of its hotel and resort towers.
While the Fox theme park was parked under Genting Malaysia (GenM), RWLV is directly under parent company, Genting.
Genting was down 21 sen to RM6.02 on volume of 3.3 million shares while GenM was down eight sen to RM2.95 on volume of 18.41 million shares.