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UPDATE 1-Jury clears way for New York Plaza in Las Vegas

(Updates with Tamares comment, adds background)

TEL AVIV, Oct 7 (Reuters) - A jury ruled that the owners of New York’s Plaza Hotel could use the Plaza name on a proposed $5 billion resort-casino on the Las Vegas Strip, despite the existence nearby of another Plaza Hotel and Casino.

The Tamares Group, which owns the 37-year-old Plaza in Las Vegas, filed the case against Israel’s Elad Group, which owns the famed New York hotel.

“Although we are disappointed at this result, Tamares will always stand up for its interests if it believes, in good faith, that it has the right and indeed the obligation to do so,” Harry Braunstein, American general counsel for Tamares, told Reuters in an emailed note on Tuesday. “Despite the verdict we certainly continue to believe that was true in this instance.”

Officials at Elad, a private group owned by Israeli billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva, could not be reached for comment.

During the trial, lawyers for Elad said the Tamares property had gone by several names, including the Union Plaza and Jackie Gaughan’s Plaza Downtown, The New York Times said in a report on its Web site.

The jury agreed that the existing Plaza had not adequately protected its trademark, the paper said.

“Tamares truly believes that it put a mountain of evidence before the jury that proved well beyond its burden of proof that our property was known as the Plaza continuously since the very opening of our hotel and casino in the early 1970s,” Braunstein said.

Elad IDB Las Vegas LLC, a joint venture between Elad and Israel's IDB IDBD.TA, purchased the now-demolished New Frontier Resort & Casino last year at a record price of $1.25 billion.

Elad IDB has said it plans to build a Plaza-branded “$5 billion multiuse ultra-luxury hotel, private residence, retail and gaming complex”.

In August Elad delayed plans for the project, saying it did not plan to begin construction before 2009. (Reporting by Tova Cohen, Additional reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Paul Bolding)

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