Hearst Corp, the US publisher of racy women’s magazine Cosmopolitan, is caught up in a trade mark battle with the owner of a Las Vegas casino that it argues is trying to trade off the magazine’s name.
Hearst maintains that Ian Bruce Eichner, the developer of the uncompleted US$3 billion Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino, has infringed its well-known trade mark. Hearst argues that there is a high likelihood that members of the public will incorrectly associate Eichner’s goods and services with Hearst’s, particularly its long-established magazine which is famous the world over for its high sex content and raunchy “sealed sections”.
However, in Eichner’s favour is that fact he is operating in a different market – gambling and hotels – to the Hearst brand, which is confined to print, internet and broadcast media, in which case confusion is less likely. Nevertheless, if the court concludes that Eichner is seeking to cash in on the “Cosmo” brand, as Hearst claims, it will find for the publisher.