Monday, April 22, 2013

Las Vegas calls at Christchurch motel

MGM Resorts International's 3,933-room Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas seem to be very protective of its brand and one of its holding companies has registered the trademark "Bellagio" across the globe, including New Zealand.

MGM takes property rights very seriously and a legal team must be kept busy regularly performing Google vanity searches to identify businesses that are allegedly "trading-off" on the Bellagio name.

MGM have previous form leaning on businesses that dare to trade using "their" name including a Canadian company trading as Bellagio Limousines and a New York mattress maker that sold a range of Bellagio-branded mattresses.

It looks like MGM's lawyers have caught up with a motel in Christchurch, Bellagio Motel Suites and have pressured the business to go through the expense and rigmarole of changing their trading name.

The small Christchurch motel is now known as Bellano Motel Suites to minimise any possible consumer confusion with the Las Vegas mega hospitality business located over 11,000 km away.
"There's only one Bellagio Hotel, and it isn't in Christchurch.

We did have one. Until very recently guests could enjoy "stylish, modern, boutique-style accommodation" at the Bellagio Motel Suites on the corner of Bealey Ave and Montreal St.
But no more. In recent weeks the motel's sign has discreetly evolved from Bellagio to Bellano, after a shoulder tap from some lawyers in Las Vegas.

The Bellagio hotel and casinoon the Sin City strip, boasts 4000 rooms, and is famous for its dancing water fountain. It has featured in Ocean's Eleven, Ocean's Thirteen, and The Hangover.

The Christchurch version is somewhat more understated, offering studio and one-bedroom suites and no dancing fountain.

The Bellagio name is trademarked in New Zealand, registered several times, including once by Mirage Resorts, Incorporated, for "hotel and resort services".

The Bellano owners declined to comment because of a current court case, but confirmed they had changed the motel's name, and not by choice.

A spokesman for the New Zealand Intellectual Property Office said there was no legal action before it on the Bellagio trademark, but said it was likely a case of "the trademark holder exercising their private property rights".
Source: Click HERE

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