Genting Responds to Wynn Copyright Infringement Accusation

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Just recently, news broke out that Wynn Resorts Ltd. will sue Genting for copyright infringement, among other things. Wynn has already lodged a lawsuit against Resorts World Las Vegas LLC, the U.S. arm of Genting Bhd.

Wynn Takes Matters to Court Against Genting

Wynn Resorts Ltd. is going after Genting Vegas. The former has lodged a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of Nevada, claiming similarities in the design, from the bronze glass to the horizontal bands, that constituted copyright infringement among other things, including:

  • Unfair competitive practices
  • Federal trade dress infringement
  • State trademark dilution

Despite the displeasure, Wynn Resorts has a very tough battle ahead of it. When it comes to copyright in construction work, proving intentional theft is difficult unless a court establishes that the new building has been meant to mislead customers into believing that they were in fact entering the “original” brand’s property.

The text of the lawsuit reads as: “The architectural design embodied in defendant’s Resorts World Las Vegas hotel and casino is substantially similar to plaintiff’s registered copyrighted architectural work, and therefore defendant is violating plaintiff’s copyrights in addition to plaintiff’s registered and common law trade dress.”

Model of Resorts World Las Vegas by Genting.

A project model of the now constructed & disputed Resorts World Las Vegas by Genting

Whether Genting did indeed copy Wynn’s architectural look is yet to be established, but the company is prepared to fight the claim. At the same time, Wynn’s claim doesn’t seem misplaced as the Las Vegas property being constructed by Genting is located right next to Wynn’s own property and it can be confusing for customers to immediately tell the properties apart.

While Wynn’s not known to go after companies on a whim, Genting has already been embroiled in another legal dispute with none other but FOX with the broadcaster claiming that Genting copied and used a logo design at the Resorts World Genting Casino in Malaysia.

Genting’s Shares Drop on the News of the Lawsuit

News about the oncoming legal storm quickly spread through markets, with Genting’s shares falling between 2% and 3.37%. At the same time, the company hurried to issue an official statement on Wednesday confirming the news and saying that it was going to challenge the copyright infringement lawsuit lodged by Wynn for the Resorts World Las Vegas.

Resorts World Las Vegas is in the process of reviewing the complaint with its legal counsels and will strenuously defend the claim and take all necessary legal action, as appropriate. – Genting’s Official Statement

Copyright claims are hard to win when it comes to architecture and buildings, but on this occasion, Wynn may have a case. Given the proximity of the properties and the similar design, customers may be erroneously led to believe that they are entering another brand’s property.

The Las Vegas Review journal cited Mark Lemley, a science and tech professor at Stanford University, who confirmed the difficult nature of design copyright.

Mr. Lemley also confirmed what our own research has indicated: ” You can, in fact, copyright the design of a building as an architectural work. Wynn might have a trademark claim if it can show that people associate that design exclusively with them.”

Given the legal leeway, Genting has a chance to fight off the claim from Wynn, but the proximity of the buildings may prove an issue.

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