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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sawgrass Mills Mall denied injunction against Florida casino tour group in trademark case

Federal Court

By Marian Johns | Jul 31, 2019


MIAMI — The owners of Sawgrass Mills Mall in Sunrise have been denied a preliminary injunction request in their fight to stop a Florida casino tour company from continuing to use the mall's trademark after the termination of a shuttle service agreement. 

According to the July 10 U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida filing, plaintiffs Simon Group LP, and others filed a motion for preliminary injunction against defendants Casino Travel Inc. and others. 

The Simon Group filed suit against Casino Travel in March, alleging trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition and other "state-law claims," according to the court filing. Simon Group and Casino Travel had an agreement which has expired, that included Casino Travel giving "private shuttle services" to the Sawgrass Mills Mall. The agreement allowed Casino Travel to use the "Sawgrass Marks" in its advertising of the shuttle services but required Casino Travel to stop using the mall's trademarks once the agreement was terminated. 

The Simon Group argues that Casino Travel continued to operate the "Sawgrass-branded" shuttle buses which are "degraded" and led consumers to believe they were operated by the mall and also displayed the buses on the website sawgrassmillsshuttle.com which also displayed the Sawgrass logos. They also point out that Casino Travel's owner currently operates a company called Tour95, which offers shuttle services and that it previously led users to the sawgrassmillsshuttle.com.

One of the owners of Casino Travel indicated that it was shut down in November 2018, and that no bus trips have taken place since that time and stated he no longer owns the sawgrassmillshuttle.com website. 

U.S. District Judge Roy Altman found that the Simon Group failed to "meet their burden"  in showing that not having an injunction would cause "substantial threat of irreparable injury" to their business, and denied the preliminary injunction for Casino Travel and Tour 95.

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