Gameologist Group, LLC v. Scientific Games Intern., Inc., No. 09-6261 (S.D.N.Y. April 26, 2012)
In a trademark infringement action for the use of the word “bling,” brought by Gameologist Group, LLC (“Gameologist”), a company that develops gaming concepts, against Scientific Games International, Inc. and Scientific Games Corporation, Inc. (“Scientific”), manufacturers of lottery tickets, the District Court granted Scientific’s motion for summary judgment. Specifically, the District Court found that (1) Gameologist did not sufficiently use its registered mark, BLING BLING 2002, in commerce, and (2) Scientific’s use of the word “bling” on its lottery tickets does not pose a likelihood of confusion with Gameologist’s trademark.
Presently, at issue is Scientific’s motion seeking an award of attorney’s fees and costs pursuant to the Lanham Act. A court will only grant such an award under the Lanham Act in “exceptional cases,” usually meaning the party seeking the remedy must prove that the opposing party filed the action in bad faith. While Scientific claims that Gameologist’s suit was frivolous, the Court found the fact that it (1) held oral argument on the motion for summary judgment, (2) received additional briefings on specific issues, and (3) had to engage in “extensive analysis” before dismissing the issues presented determinative in finding the suit was, in fact, not frivolous. Thus, Scientific’s motion for attorney’s fees was denied.
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