A Nevada court has vacated on a $2.15m default judgment that was levied against the Philippine online gambling authority, First Cagayan Leisure & Resort Corporation, in a trademark infringement suit that was brought by the casino operator Las Vegas Sands.
During March, 2015, US District Judge James Mahan, awarded the $2.15m in damages to Sans for unauthorized usage of its trademarks by multiple of the online casino sites, many of them held licenses that were issued by First Cagayan.
However, many of the sites in question, had operated under a series of shifting numbered domains and that their domain registration filings in fact contained some blatantly erroneous information, making this a collection $2.15m from the operators all but impossible.
On the other hand, First Cagayan is a known entity, that has a verifiable address. First Cagayan told Judge Mahan, that it had only been made aware of the lawsuit a week after the judgment had been awarded last March, a year after Sands had filed their original claim for compensation, when a reporter called First Cagayan to comment on the judgment.
Subsequent filing with the Mahan’s court, First Cagayan has claimed that Sands sent their legal notices to an email address that belonged to Ed Lopez, whose name was listed on the First Cagayan’s domain name registration, but he is not “one of their shareholders, directors, officers, employees or agents of First Cagayan.”
In the ruling that is dated Feb. 3, Judge Mahan noted that Sands had not contested First Cagayan’s claims with regards to Ed Lopez’s status. Judge Mahan also noted that Sands had not offered an argument that First Cagayan had intentionally failed to not respond to their notice or otherwise had acted in bad faith.
As such, Judge Mahan granted First Cagayan’s request and then ordered the $2.15m judgment to be vacated against the company. However, this judgment still remains in force against the infringing websites, and First Cagayan has to now actively defend themselves against Sands’ claims.
First Cagayan maintains that they had “never been affiliated, nor been in any relationship” with the other defendants that were named in the suit, nor had they ever used any of the Sands’ trademarks or had any knowledge of this alleged infringement that was conducted by the other defendants.