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Attorneys Looking into the The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
 Authority Selling the Popular "What Happens Here, Stays Here"
 Trademark for $1

By Chris Jones, Las Vegas Review-Journal
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Aug. 4, 2005 - Attorneys with Morrison & Foerster will report Tuesday on their investigation of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's recent $1 sale of the popular "What happens here, stays here" trademark to its creators at Las Vegas-based advertising agency R&R Partners.

The attorneys' report will come at the regularly scheduled meeting of the convention authority.

Details of the San Francisco-based legal team's findings were unavailable Wednesday, but the convention authority's 14-member board last month asked Morrison & Foerster to conduct an internal investigation of the $1 deal, and assess future policies associated with the authority's intellectual property.

Authority President Rossi Ralenkotter brokered the R&R deal in November without prior board approval, a step that was within his power but still troubling to several board members who felt they should have been told in advance.

Ralenkotter, R&R boss Billy Vassiliadis, and their respective attorneys claim the sale was part of a legal strategy to bolster their shared interests in a trademark infringement case against Dorothy Tovar, a California woman who sells T-shirts and other products adorned with the similar phrase "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas."

Morrison & Foerster will also update the board on the status of the Tovar case.

That case appears headed to trial in U.S. District Court after last week's settlement talks in Reno ended with no resolution.


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Copyright (c) 2005, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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