Live! Casino Philadelphia has successfully pressured a community media organization focused on hyperlocal news and events to change its logo.
Chadds Ford Live was launched in 2009 to “provide an online news service and a community forum for the greater Chadds Ford area,” the website explains. More than a decade later, Live! Casino has forced the media company to alter its logo.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Chadds Ford Live publisher Emily Myers received a sternly written letter from an attorney representing the $700 million integrated casino resort in late January. The communication demanded that the stylization of “Live” in the online news site be changed before February 6. Live! Casino opened in Philly’s Stadium District on February 11.
Myers and her team, which consists of six employees, obliged.
The Live! casino is owned and operated by The Cordish Companies. The Baltimore-based gaming and hospitality firm has Live! properties in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas. Along with its Philly casino, Cordish’s casino portfolio includes Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, and Live! Casino Pittsburgh.
The “Live” in Chadds Ford Live shared many similarities to the Live! logo that Cordish has long used. The type is red, and both seem to use the same font. The only major difference is that Chadds Ford Live does not use an exclamation mark.
Chadds Ford is an affluent township located in Delaware County along the Pennsylvania and Delaware border. The neighborhood is roughly 20 miles from Live! Philly by way the crow flies.
Cordish’s legal team argued that the public could be confused by the Chadds Ford Live name, and perhaps could mistaken it for a separate casino. The Inquirer says Cordish trademarked the Live! logo in 2007 with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
“To support a trademark infringement claim in court, a plaintiff must prove that it owns a valid mark, that it has priority (its rights in the mark(s) are ‘senior’ to the defendant’s), and that the defendant’s mark is likely to cause confusion in the minds of consumers about the source or sponsorship of the goods or services offered under the parties’ marks,” the USPTO explains.
Paul Gugliuzza, a law professor at Temple University who researches patents, copyrights, and trademarks, told The Inquirer the odds weren’t exactly strong for Cordish’s case.
There’s a real hurdle to showing there’d be any sort of consumer confusion,” he explained. “When you see the word ‘Live’ plastered on the side of a casino, you’re not thinking, ‘Oh, that same company is behind this local newsletter,’ and vice versa.”
Regardless, after much consideration, Myers conceded to Cordish. She explained that the business could not afford the legal costs.
“We have a whole lot of references to Chadds Ford Live,” she said. “It’s no small job.”
The Chadds Ford Live website now lists the logo as Chadds Live Ford. The font and style of “Live” has been greatly overhauled. The four letters are now white on a blue backdrop.