Vegas Strip Clubs Wrestle in Court Over Animal Names

Posted on: April 10, 2024, 11:33h. 

Last updated on: April 10, 2024, 12:38h.

The Spearmint Rhino has been at the top of the topless game in Vegas since 1999, before most of its currently featured employees were born. And now a new competitor is discovering just how territorial the original strip club with a gum-flavored pachyderm name can get about its brand.

This image was taken from the Peppermint Hippo’s website. (Image: Peppermint Hippo)

The Spearmint Rhino is suing the Peppermint Hippo for trademark infringement.

No damages were specified in the Rhino’s civil action, filed in US District Court in Nevada on March 19. The Rhino seeks only to force a name change.

Since 1999, the Spearmint Rhino has club of choice for gentlemen visiting the city to come as close to sinning as possible. In 2019, the Peppermint Hippo began horning in on that action. (Images: Top: Instagram/therhinolv; Bottom:

The Hippo moved into the former home of another famous Vegas strip club, the Olympic Garden, in 2019. (OG’s, as it was also known, closed three years earlier.)

In its suit, the Rhino claims to have used its name “continuously since October 15, 1992, for adult cabaret services,” that its trademarks “are famous and recognized around the world and throughout the United States as signifying high-quality venues for adult entertainment services,” and that the Hippo’s trademarks “impair the distinctiveness and cause dilution by blurring (and) damage(ing)” their trademarks.

Different Animal?

Hippo founder and CEO Alan Chang demands that the lawsuit be thrown out of court, characterizing it in a statement to Page Six as “ridiculous” and noting that “the strip club war is on!”

Peppermint Hippo founder and CEO Alan Chang. (Image: Instagram/Aries_and_the_pack)

One small detail that may harm Chang’s case is his previous employment as the Spearmint Rhino’s director of business development from 2007 until 2014.

Conversely, however, Chang can prove that he didn’t rip the name off from his former employer — at least not directly.

He took it from the comedy series “South Park.” In 2003, its animated stars patronized a fictional strip club called the Peppermint Hippo as part of an assignment to bust a local meth ring. They returned in 2006.

“We just thought it was hilarious,” Chang told the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper in 2022.

The Hippo spans 27K square feet and boasts “state-of-the-art sound and lighting, VIP amenities, a podcast studio, speakeasy, and 24-hour entertainment,” according to a news release.

We asked A.I. to chime in by creating an image of a spearmint rhino battling a peppermint hippo. (Image: ChatGPT)

Though female strip club employees usually claim that size doesn’t matter, the Rhino is bigger at 37,500 square feet.

It still pulls celebrities including Kim Kardashian and Odell Beckham Jr., who were spotted at the Rhino together in February, but the Hippo has been out-dazzling them in that department of late, having hosted Usher, Mike Tyson, and, well, Odell Beckham Jr.

The case is slated to go before U.S. Magistrate Judge Brenda Weksler in February 2025. The Rhino is requesting a trial by jury.

“In the wild, hippos and rhinos co-exist,” Chang told Page Six. “Why not Vegas?”