June 16, 2008 / 5:43 PM / 11 years ago

Hearst sues over use of Cosmopolitan name

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Hearst Corp filed a $500,000 trademark infringement lawsuit on Monday against the developers of a $3 billion Las Vegas resort and casino using the same name as the publisher’s well-known Cosmopolitan women’s magazine.

An undated artist's impression of the Cosmopolitan resort and casino in Las Vegas. REUTERS/PRNewsFoto

The use of the trademarks on the resort is likely to confuse the public into believing that Hearst was involved in developing it or had licensed the Cosmopolitan name, said the suit, which was filed in U.S. District Court in New York.

The defendants, Cosmo Senior Borrower LLC and 3700 Associates LLC, are developing the Cosmopolitan Resort Casino, scheduled to open in Las Vegas in 2010. It will have some 3,000 rooms, a casino, three wedding chapels, and a 5-acre beach and pool area with what it is calling the Cosmo Club, which has “an adult deck featuring European-style bathing.”

Hearst, which in the suit listed a wide variety of products and services using its long-established registered Cosmopolitan, Cosmo and Cosmo Girl trademarks, has asked for a jury trial.

In its complaint, Hearst said that beginning in September 2004 the defendants had secured or applied to register for some two dozen trademarks using Cosmopolitan or Cosmo.

“Well after these marks became distinctive and famous, defendants began using its Cosmopolitan, Cosmo-based marks in commerce in ways that have actually diluted and are likely to dilute the fame and distinctiveness of Hearst Communications Inc’s (HCI) Cosmopolitan, Cosmo and Cosmo Girl marks,” the lawsuit said.

Use of the Cosmopolitan and Cosmo names “demonstrates an intentional, willful and bad faith intent to trade on the good will of HCI’s registered marks and to cause confusion, deception and mistake in the minds of customers and potential customers to the great and irreparable injury of HCI,” the suit said.

Hearst has asked the court to halt the use by defendants of its trademark names and to order the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to deny or cancel the registration of the defendants’ marks. It also wants all advertising and promotional material that are found to infringe or dilute HCI trademarks to be impounded.

The publisher is asking for punitive damages of at least $500,000, and to recover triple profits as well as its costs and attorneys’ fees.

The defendants declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Editing by Lisa Von Ahn

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