On August 20, 2010, Nevada federal district Judge James Mahan denied Everest Gaming Limited’s motion for a preliminary injunction to stop Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment, Inc.’s continued use of the EVEREST POKER trademark in connection with the 2010 World Series of Poker. Everest claimed that a Promotional Agreement, previously entered into by Harrah’s and Everest’s predecessor-in-interest, Ultra Internet Media, S.A. (“UIM”), that authorized the use of the EVEREST POKER mark for the 2008, 2009 and 2010 World Series tournaments had been effectively terminated as of April 1, 2010. In his order, Judge Mahan ruled that Harrah’s continued use of the EVEREST POKER mark in connection with the 2010 World Series, which began in May, was improper only if the Promotional Agreement had been terminated. However, he concluded Everest had not, at least at this stage of the proceedings, satisfied its burden of proving that it was likely to succeed on the merits of its claim that the Promotional Agreement had in fact been terminated. Accordingly, Judge Mahan denied Everest Gaming’s request for an injunction against Harrah’s finding that on the evidence before him it was unclear whether the Promotional Agreement had been terminated or not.
This dispute arises from an earlier claim that Harrah’s had breached the Promotional Agreement by allowing ESPN to improperly obscure the EVEREST POKER mark in French rebroadcasts of the 2008 and 2009 WSOP events. For now, Harrah’s may continue to use the EVEREST POKER trademark in connection with the 2010 World Series of Poker, and the parties are left to litigate whether Harrah’s breached the Promotional Agreement and whether the Promotional Agreement was in fact terminated by Everest prior to the beginning of the 2010 World Series.