Casino supplier hits mobile app developer with trademark suit

The Internet is littered with casino applications for iPhones and other mobile devices — some potentially infringing on game makers’ trademarks.

That was illustrated Tuesday when casino supplier Shuffle Master Inc. of Las Vegas sued app developer Avalinx LLC, alleging trademark and copyright infringement.

Shuffle Master charged in the suit, filed in federal court in Las Vegas, that Avalinx had developed and sold mobile applications for Apple iPhone, iTouch and iPad devices that infringed on Shuffle Master’s rights.

The trademarks and copyrights at issue cover Shuffle Master’s Let It Ride and Three Card Poker table games, which are licensed to casinos worldwide.

Play-for-fun versions of some Shuffle Master games, including Three Card Poker, are also offered on Shuffle Master’s website.

Avalinx, based in Dublin, Ohio, is accused in the lawsuit of selling through the Apple iTunes online store mobile apps featuring electronic casino games “Let ‘Em Ride Pro” and “3 Card Pro” — applications Shuffle Master says infringed on its rights.

Besides “usurping” Shuffle Master names and designs, the Ohio company likely copied its “Let ‘Em Ride Pro” image from the genuine “Let It Ride” image on Shuffle Master’s website, the lawsuit charges.

“Defendant misappropriated plaintiff’s intellectual property for its own financial gain by misleading consumers into falsely believing that its mobile applications were sold by or licensed from plaintiff,” the suit says.

“Defendant subsequently removed the infringing applications from the iTunes application store, but only after plaintiff demanded their removal,” the lawsuit says.

“Defendant’s conduct was patently egregious and plaintiff requests relief to compensate plaintiff for damages caused by defendant and to prevent defendant from further misappropriating plaintiff’s valuable intellectual property,” says the suit, which seeks unspecified damages.

A request for comment was placed with Avalinx. Shuffle Master is represented in the suit by the Las Vegas office of the law firm Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck LLP.