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Arkansas Supreme Court hears arguments in lottery trademark suit

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: Arkansas Supreme Court hears arguments in lottery trademark suit
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — An attorney for a Little Rock marketing firm argued Thursday before the Arkansas Supreme Court that his client should be allowed to proceed with a trademark lawsuit against the Arkansas Lottery Commission.

The high court heard oral arguments but did not immediately issue a ruling in a lawsuit filed by Alpha Marketing against the Lottery Commission. The company has been seeking a ruling that it has exclusive rights to use of the terms "Arkansas lottery," "Arkansas Lotto," and "Lottery Arkansas," some of which it has had trademarked since 1994.

The company filed the suit after the attorney general's office warned Ed Dozier, owner of Alpha Marketing, that he would be subject to legal action if he continued to use the terms.

The attorney general's office maintains that the secretary of state's office should not have granted the trademarks because lotteries did not become legal in Arkansas until 2008, when voters approved a constitutional amendment to permit a state lottery to fund college scholarships. The lottery launched in 2009.

In March, Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen denied a motion by the state to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the lottery has sovereign immunity as a state agency. The state appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court.

Skip Davidson, attorney for the company, told the justices today that the lottery is run as a for-profit business and therefore sovereign immunity does not apply.

"It is a state-run monopoly. They charge for tickets and they deduct their operating expenses and they make a profit," he said.

Assistant Attorney General Mark Ohrenberger countered that if Davidson's argument were correct, the state Department of Finance and Administration could be called a for-profit business because it collects taxes. He noted that 100 percent of the lottery's profits must be used to fund scholarships.

"These aren't profits in the sense that the agency can use them for anything it wants," he said.

Some of the justices questioned whether the issue was properly brought before them, noting that Griffen did not state his reasons for denying the motion in his order.

Ohrenberger said the denial of the motion implied that Griffen rejected the plaintiffs' argument that sovereign immunity did not apply to the lottery.

Arkansas News Bureau

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9 comments. Last comment 5 years ago by cbr$.
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dpoly1's avatar - driver
PA
United States
Member #66141
October 16, 2008
1679 Posts
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Posted: December 9, 2011, 11:52 am - IP Logged

Seems like the State thinks that they can do as they please!

That is why we should vote for people that actually care ........... not for those that say that they are "for the people" just to pander for votes !!!

US Flag REA ......... Regulated Enough Already

    ressuccess's avatar - Lottery-043.jpg

    United States
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    June 23, 2010
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    Posted: December 9, 2011, 12:37 pm - IP Logged

    I wonder what this lawsuit about?

      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
      United States
      Member #73904
      April 28, 2009
      14903 Posts
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      Posted: December 9, 2011, 1:30 pm - IP Logged

      I wonder what this lawsuit about?

      Funny you should ask.

      There's a story about that very thing starting at the top of this page.


                                                   
                           
                                               

       

       

       

       

                                                                                                         

      "The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing"

                                                                                                  --Edmund Burke

       

       

        Avatar
        Orlando, FL
        United States
        Member #115785
        August 28, 2011
        259 Posts
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        Posted: December 9, 2011, 2:33 pm - IP Logged

        Tonight Mega Millions is 100 Million !

         

        Good Luck All!Party

          haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
          Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
          United States
          Member #112968
          June 29, 2011
          3857 Posts
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          Posted: December 9, 2011, 4:56 pm - IP Logged

          theres them ugly words again,

          "SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY"

          sounds like something to protect our officials from other countries,

          not protect them from the people they are supposed to serve.

          Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

            larry3100's avatar - larry icon2.jpg
            Redwood City,California
            United States
            Member #70503
            February 3, 2009
            200 Posts
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            Posted: December 9, 2011, 6:24 pm - IP Logged

            I don't believe the trademark of "Arkansas Lottery" " Arkansas Lotto" and "Lottery Arkansas" should have been trademarked in the first place. It's like the generic names "Aspirin" "Cola" or "Wine". The court should dismiss the lawsuit. Boxing

              haymaker's avatar - Lottery-012.jpg
              Egg Harbor twp.south Jersey shore
              United States
              Member #112968
              June 29, 2011
              3857 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: December 9, 2011, 6:43 pm - IP Logged

              I don't believe the trademark of "Arkansas Lottery" " Arkansas Lotto" and "Lottery Arkansas" should have been trademarked in the first place. It's like the generic names "Aspirin" "Cola" or "Wine". The court should dismiss the lawsuit. Boxing

              agree,but whenever the words "SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY"are used in a story about a gov't agency,beware.

              Extraordinary Popular Delusions & the Madness of Crowds    -- Charles Mackay  LL.D.

                Grovel's avatar - f800e6a39fbfea795d1dcbb09f2244
                Little Rock, AR
                United States
                Member #68365
                December 19, 2008
                241 Posts
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                Posted: December 9, 2011, 7:29 pm - IP Logged

                I remember when people were trying to do crap like this with website names. Right before Modern Warfare 3 came out someone grabbed the name before the company could register it. The judge made him give up the site. People are always trying to make money off of other people's ideas.

                  cbr$'s avatar - maren
                  Cordova,Al.
                  United States
                  Member #104482
                  January 15, 2011
                  5371 Posts
                  Online
                  Posted: December 10, 2011, 3:13 pm - IP Logged

                  BSEven if there shouldn't have been a trademark on " Arkansas Lottery" , "Arkansas Lotto" & " Lottery Arkansas this marketing company has have the right to them since 1994, the lottery since 2009 have been using them . The Supreme Court should rule in the market company favor. The ruleing should be the lottery pay retro - active pay to the marketing company from 2009 until now & a percentage there after for as long as it uses the words to the company.                                                                                                                                  As far as Attory General 's office is concern , they need to shut - up & suck- it up. It is no longer a matter of what should hve happen. It's done. What you're saying now is a after the fact thing. The Secretary of States offices granted the company the rights in 1994. Normal people would be bind by the contract in court , so should you. Pay- Up! You don't get sovereign immunity. Plus how can this Lottery call it self a non- profit bussiness ? If there was not profit , are they working for free no salarys. Without a profit being made some where there wouldn't be a scholarship fund to give away. Now, Assistant Attorney General Mark Ohrenberger, I can't believe you have taken this case pro- bono you're getting paid. You expect a profit .The Department of Finance & Administration is a for profit bussiness. They don't do their jobs for free either. They collect our hard earned tax dollars to get a pay check. The common tax payer wage is consided incommon = profit. Why shouldn't this branch of goverment state ran Lottery get to say it non profit? The attorney they have hired to speak for them is going to be paid out of the profit from the Lottery fund & use as a write- off as over head expense. They are saying they can't use the fund for just any thing but expenses and for the scholarship fund . They just did use the money for some else other then it true purpose they hired a lawyer so help their egos , the lawyer's fee could be used to really to give out either more scholarships or larger scholarship. Bottom line; The Lottery has infringed on the market company rights Pay - Up. If they don't get this right then the voter need to clean house get them out of these seat of power including the people who appointed them their. Make them history out history.