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September 2, 2014

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Vegas saloon owner sues Neb. business over name

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A tavern in Nebraska faces a legal challenge for calling itself the "Double Down Sports Bar & Grill." The bar in Plattsmouth, Neb., a town south of Omaha, was hit with a trademark infringement lawsuit Thursday by the owner of the Double Down saloons in Las Vegas and New York City.

Double Down Inc. and Double Down NYC LLC filed suit in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas against the Nebraska company, Double Down Bar LLC.

Besides trademark infringement, the suit asserts claims of Internet cybersquatting, false advertising, deceptive trade practices and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

The defendant bar's owners could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

The plaintiffs' bars are in New York at 14 Avenue A and in Las Vegas at 4640 Paradise Road.

They said the Las Vegas bar, calling itself "The Happiest Place on Earth," is world famous, having received coverage on the Travel Channel and NBC's "The Today Show."

The plaintiffs said they have been using the "Double Down" trademark since as early as 1992 and that in 2000 the Web site doubledownsaloon.com was registered.

"The Double Down plaintiffs have spent substantial sums of money to advertise and promote their restaurant and tavern services under the Double Down marks in print and broadcast media and on the Internet," the lawsuit says.

The lawsuit claims the defendant started infringing on the plaintiffs' trademarks beginning in about March 2006 in connection with the Nebraska bar and restaurant.

The suit also complained about the Nebraska bar's Web site, though it includes this disclaimer: "Not affiliated with the Double Down Saloon."

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys with the Las Vegas law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP, alleges: "Defendant Double Down has intentionally and willfully traded upon the Double Down plaintiffs' reputation and goodwill, established through the Double Down plaintiffs' extensive use of the Double Down marks."

The Las Vegas and New York plaintiffs charged in the suit that the Nebraska defendant's use of the Double Down name "has created a likelihood of confusion among consumers who falsely believe that defendant Double Down's marks are associated with the Double Down plaintiffs' services, or that the Double Down plaintiffs sponsor or approve of defendant Double Down's services or commercial activities."

The suit seeks injunctions barring the Nebraska business from using the Double Down name and unspecified financial damages.

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