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NYSE Suit Against MGM Mirage Reinstated

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From Bloomberg News, Reuters

The New York Stock Exchange won reinstatement of a lawsuit accusing MGM Mirage Inc. of violating copyright laws when it used variations on the NYSE name in its New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The world’s biggest stock market sued to stop MGM Mirage, the world’s second-largest gaming firm, from using references to the Big Board at the New York-themed hotel and casino, asserting they tarnished its name and trademarks.

The case, filed in 1997, was dismissed by a lower court judge in 1999. But an appeals court Monday reinstated it.

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The NYSE wants “to preserve a reputation for integrity and transparency,” the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals wrote. A jury “might therefore find that the casino’s humorous analogy to its activities--deemed by many to involve odds stacked heavily in favor of the house--would injure NYSE’s reputation.”

New York-New York features replicas of the city’s neighborhoods and familiar images in its design, including a “Greenwich Village” food court and a “Coney Island Emporium.” The casino’s version of the NYSE is located in the “Financial District” where cashiers’ cages sit under a sign that reads “New York New York $lot Exchange.”

The appeals court reinstated only some of the exchange’s legal claims. The three-judge panel said the NYSE could sue over the use of a replica of its “distinctive” building facade in the casino’s financial district.

MGM Mirage shares fell 73 cents to $35.50 on the NYSE.

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