Trademark Dispute:32Red Beats William Hill
32Red has won its trade mark clash against William Hill, in turn it now seeks full reimbursement from Britain’s largest bookmaker after two years of lengthy court cases, it announced in a statement today.
Ruling in 32Red’s favour the High Court of Justice in London declared that William Hill’s exploitation of 32Vegas and 32V had infringed upon 32Red’s European Community (EC) registered trademarks. “The court found that William Hill’s 32Vegas casino logo was rather similar to 32Red’s, truth be told it has caused a fair amount of confusion amongst players,” according to one statement. It further stated that William Hill’s violation “caused damage to the reputable nature and standing of 32Red’s trademarks” and dismissed William Hill’s counterclaim as to the legality of 32Red’s trade mark rights within the UK and European Community.
32Red said that the case is not over by a mile and it will claim damages incurred whilst the court case lasted. 32Red has “considerable legal costs”; an investigation that will have to take place in order to ascertain the “reimbursement or profits” arising from the supposed breach; as well as an restriction to stop the use of 32Vegas marks in the EC.
Chief executive of 32Red, Ed Ware said, “I’m thrilled” that the High Court finally ruled in our favour. “The outcome by the court further cements our intellectual property rights and should discourage other internet casinos from abusing our trade marks. As pointed out by the judge, our reputation as one of the top internet casinos is held in high esteem – these are priceless attributes in any business environment,” he concluded.
32Red formally began legal proceedings in August 2009 against William Hill stating that William Hill used a comparable sounding name for an internet casino which confused players and held William Hill further responsible for loss of players signing up at under the 32Vegas banner instead of 32Red. In August that year 32Red claimed 32Vegas made approximately £4m in profits before tax, depreciation and paying off its outstanding debts (EBITDA) in 2008. In the meantime 32Vegas has been renamed 21Nova.
At the time, Ware said in a recent interview with Cassaon-casino that: “William Hill has benefitted from this entire deal, whilst 32Red lost substantial revenue because of it. It’s a shame that an internet casino of such magnitude would be trading on our name and status and we will most definitely claim damages and compensation that have been incurred.”
32Vegas casino started out in 2006 as a Playtech licensee and it was transferred to William Hill as part of the William Hill Online establishment in October 2010.[addtoany]