Resorts World: Project won’t replicate Wynn properties

Resorts World: Project won’t replicate Wynn properties

  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
January 11, 2019 4:57 PM
  • Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

Resorts World Las Vegas developers said a federal trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Wynn Resorts in December was termed a “heavy-handed, holiday-timed filing” that was directed at shutting down construction of the $4 billion “business competitor.”

In a response filed Friday morning in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, attorneys representing Resorts World said the Las Vegas Strip development is in the early stages of construction and the hotel-casino complex “will look dramatically different from Wynn’s properties, dispelling any suggestion that a reasonable consumer could confuse the two resorts for each other.”

Resorts World attached new and previously unreleased renderings of what they said would be the new project, showing a building that is more red-orange in color than previous renderings.

Wynn Resorts sued Resorts World, which located across the Strip from Wynn Las Vegas and Encore, claiming the building is similar to the company’s two Las Vegas hotel-casinos and violated its “architectural trade dress.” According to the lawsuit, Wynn Resorts believes the under-construction Resorts World is “misleading the public into falsely believing that it is affiliated with, sponsored by or associated with (the company), when it is not.”

Lawyers for Wynn said the company has trademarked, and owns, the exclusive right in Nevada to utilize “architectural trade dress” in its buildings, which includes properties in Las Vegas and Macau as well as the under-construction Encore Boston Harbor in Everett, Massachusetts.

“Defendant did not obtain plaintiff’s consent or authorization to use the Wynn Trade Dress or copyrighted architectural design in connection with resort, hotel, casino, entertainment, lounge, bar and restaurant services,” according to the suit.

Resorts World addressed the three elements of Wynn’s trade dress claims in the filing.

The concave tower shape was the same as the footprint for Boyd Gaming Corp.’s Echelon, the halted project on the site which Resorts World purchased in 2013. Resorts World incorporated the unfinished building into its designs. The bronze glass is a popular color and non-proprietary. The banding is designed to “catch up-lighting at night” and allow the tower to be illuminated. The banding will ultimately be red in color once Resorts World is complete.

The lawsuit response quoted Resorts World construction manager William Richardson, who said an injunction halting the workers from continuing with installation of the current glass design would cost the developers $169 million. Resorts World began construction on the 3,000-room resort in earnest last year and has planned an opening in 2020.

“There are currently approximately 1,500 workers on-site and employed in connection with the RWLV project. If an injunction is granted and glass installation is stopped for months or longer, I anticipate that approximately one-third of those on-site workers – 500 – would be immediately dismissed, as they are working on elements of construction that would be affected by a glass stoppage,” Richardson said.

Resorts World attorneys said in the filing the Wynn lawsuit “suffers from a fatal flaw” because it was based on “speculative extrapolation regarding the appearance” of the unfinished resort. They added that public interest is best served by allowing the two companies to compete “unencumbered from the constraints imposed by judicial intervention.”

In an emailed statement, a Wynn Resorts spokesman said, “Resorts World’s newly created exterior renderings, dated 2019 and well after the filing of our complaint, are merely drawings which do not reflect the actual construction directly across the street from our resort. We will continue to pursue our legal claims and injunctive relief in this matter.”

Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.