Resorts World Hits Back at Wynn Resorts’ ‘Heavy-Handed’ Copyright Lawsuit

Posted on: January 13, 2019, 06:04h. 

Last updated on: January 13, 2019, 06:42h.

A lawsuit filed by Wynn Resorts just before Christmas last year claiming that the architectural design of Resorts World Las Vegas is too similar to its own properties was a “heavy-handed” move designed to shut down a competitor, Resorts World said Friday.

Resorts World
Spot the Difference: Wynn Resorts claims Resorts World Las Vegas (left) closely resembles its two properties across the Strip and is seeking injunctive relief. Resorts World has said there will be little similarity on completion. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

The $4 billion Resorts World Las Vegas is under construction on the parcel of land where the Stardust once stood, across the Strip from Wynn’s two Las Vegas properties, Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. It is scheduled for completion in late 2020.

But on December 21, Wynn Resorts filed a five-count trademark infringement and unfair competition lawsuit alleging that the design is “substantially similar to plaintiff’s registered copyrighted architectural work, and therefore defendant is violating plaintiff’s copyrights in addition to plaintiff’s registered and common law trade dress.”

Wynn is seeking an injunction to halt the construction while elements allegedly resembling Wynn’s trade dress are removed. It also wants to be awarded any profits resulting from the use of the colors and architectural style as well as exemplary and punitive damages.

‘Dramatically Different’

On Friday, lawyers for Resorts World — a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Genting Group — said the completed property will look “dramatically different” from Wynn’s properties, “dispelling any suggestion that a reasonable consumer could confuse the two resorts for each other.”

The Resorts World filing includes new drawings of how the property will look on its completion — red with bronze colored glass windows — substantially different than previous renderings. The Wynn properties also use bronze glass, but Resorts World said this is a popular color for casinos and is non-proprietary.

The concave tower that the Wynn lawsuit objects to was initially part of Boyd Gaming’s now-abandoned Echelon project, which was incorporated into the designs for Resorts World Las Vegas.

Jobs in Jeopardy

The filing claims that injunction preventing the installation of the current glass design would cost Resorts World $169 million and result in the dismissal of approximately 500 construction workers. Any further delay in construction would postpone the advent of 3,000 permanent jobs, which will be created when the property opens.

But Wynn Resorts is not backing down. A spokesman for the casino giant said in an official statement Friday it would continue to pursue its legal claims and injunctive relief.

“Resorts World’s newly created exterior renderings, dated 2019 and well after the filing of our complaint, are merely drawings which do not reflect the actual construction directly across the street from our resort,” the spokesperson said.