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Gameologist Group LLC vs The New York Lottery

By: Joan Peppin, Wednesday November 26th 2008
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The New York Lottery and Scientific Games Inc are facing a multi-million dollar lawsuit for alleged trademark infringement. Balestriere Lanza PLLC has filed a suit in the New Jersey Federal District Court on behalf of their client, Gameologist Group LLC.

Gameologist specializes in gaming products and games similar to those found in casinos. The complaint states that in 2003, Gameologist created "Bling Bling", a lottery scratch card game. Gameologist registered the words and logo with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2003. In 2004, the NY Lottery and Scientific Games rejected the trademark stating that it was "too ethnic" and that it did not meet various salable standards that the lottery upholds.

In 2007, the NY Lottery released a new scratch-off game - "Bada Bling". This game was very similar to the game "Bling Bling" created by Gameologist, and used the word "bling" - a dominant word from Gameologist's registered trademark.

According to Craig Stuart Lanza, Gameolosist's lawyer, Gameologist, looking for an amicable agreement, communicated with the New York Lottery upon discovering the alleged trademark infringement, requesting a reasonable licensing agreement for the use of their trademark. Lanza explains that the NY Lottery refused to enter any agreement, and in fact, encouraged Gameologist to sue them. Lanza assumes that they did so believing that a small company like Gameologist would not have the means to sue the New York Lottery and Scientific Games.

New York Lottery's "Bada Bling" scratch cards are $10 each and have a run rate of 16 million tickets, totaling $160 million. With 15% of revenue retained, the Lottery earns as much as $24 million in gross profits on the "Bada Bling' scratch cards. Gameoloogist is suing for their rightful share of these profits plus damages for a company knowingly infringing on and using another company's trademark.

It is unusual for a minority-owned small business such as Gameologist to be able to sue a large company like the NY Lottery. However, Balestriere Lanza PLLC specializes in representing and helping both individuals and companies with trials and investigations. Lanza explains that this case is about big companies stealing protected intellectual property from a smaller business, in the belief that they would not be sued. Balestriere Lanza PLLC "look forward to pushing this case to trial to obtain justice for Gameologist".

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