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High court dismisses Arkansas lottery name lawsuit

Arkansas LotteryArkansas Lottery: High court dismisses Arkansas lottery name lawsuit

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A businessman who said he owns trademarks to the lottery's name can't sue the Arkansas Lottery Commission, the state Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

In a 4-3 decision, the high court reversed a lower court's decision and dismissed a lawsuit from Ed Dozier's company, Alpha Marketing, against the lottery commission. The court said the commission is a state entity entitled to sovereign immunity, which prohibits lawsuits against the state.

"Because a judgment for Alpha would operate to control the action of the State or subject it to liability, the suit is one against the State and is barred by the doctrine of sovereign immunity," Justice Josephine Linker Hart wrote in the majority opinion. Justices Donald Corbin, Paul Danielson and Courtney Hudson Goodson dissented.

Alpha Marketing said it owned the trademarks for the terms "Arkansas Lottery" and "Arkansas Lotto" before the state began selling lottery tickets in 2009. The company said it began using those terms in 1994, registering both trademarks with the Secretary of State in 2007, according to the Supreme Court's decision. It also said it registered "Lottery Arkansas" in 2009 and had used that mark since 2007, according to the Supreme Court's decision.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2008 creating the games to fund college scholarships.

Alpha Marketing sued in 2010, asking a court to find that its trademarks are valid and that it owns the exclusive right to the use of its trademarks in Arkansas. The company also sought "monetary damages in the form of lost profits stemming from the alleged trademark infringement," according to Thursday's Supreme Court opinion.

Alpha Marketing's lawyer, David Gershner, said he's disappointed in the court's decision.

"We're looking at what our options would be as far as pushing this into another forum," Gershner said.

However, Lottery Director Bishop Woosley said he hopes the state Supreme Court's decision ends the ongoing trademark battle.

"There may be some other course of action that these individuals try and take against us, but for now, we're hopeful that this will put it to bed," Woosley said.

AP

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4 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by jamella724.
Page 1 of 1
rdgrnr's avatar - walt
Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
United States
Member #73904
April 28, 2009
14903 Posts
Offline
Posted: May 31, 2013, 11:12 pm - IP Logged

Claiming all the names you think somebody will eventually want and be willing to pay you for.

What a racket.


    United States
    Member #138777
    February 6, 2013
    25 Posts
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    Posted: May 31, 2013, 11:46 pm - IP Logged

    I. H8 your avatar ????

      rdgrnr's avatar - walt
      Way back up in them dadgum hills, son!
      United States
      Member #73904
      April 28, 2009
      14903 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: May 31, 2013, 11:51 pm - IP Logged

      I. H8 your avatar ????

      You have 4 question marks on a declarative sentence.

      I don't get it.

        Avatar
        Texas
        United States
        Member #132455
        September 4, 2012
        483 Posts
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        Posted: June 23, 2013, 1:03 am - IP Logged

        They should have to accept the court's decision. They should be thankful that somehow the state let them use the trademark for a while. However it's time to let the state to use its own name.