Walters v. Coopers Picks LLC et al

Filing 10

TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER. Motion Hearing re 3 MOTION for Preliminary Injunction set for 9/11/2012 11:00 AM in LV Courtroom 6A before Judge James C. Mahan. Responses due by 9/6/2012. Replies due by 9/10/2012. Signed by Judge James C. Mahan on 8/30/12. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - MMM)

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1 Mark G. Tratos (Bar No. 1086) tratosm@gtlaw.com 2 Donald L. Prunty, Esq. (Bar No. 8230) Laraine M. I. Burrell (Bar No. 8771) 3 burrelll@gtlaw.com Moorea Katz (Bar No. 12007) 4 katzmo@gtlaw.com GREENBERG TRAURIG 5 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway Suite 400 North 6 Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 7 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 8 Counsel For Plaintiff WILLIAM WALTERS 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF NEVADA GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 11 12 WILLIAM WALTERS, an individual, Case No.: 2:12-cv-01541-JCM-CWH Plaintiff, 13 14 v. 15 COOPERS PICKS, LLC a Florida limited liability company; MICHAEL COOPER, an individual; RICHART RUDDIE, an individual; RYAN HOLZMAN, an individual; BRAD GREENBERG, an individual; JM PICKS, an entity doing business in New York; JOHN MACK, an individual; RICH GARAFOLA, an individual; GLEN PETRELLI, an individual; SAL DeCARLO, an individual; WILLIAM “BILL” CONTI, an individual; D I GLOBAL MARKETING, LLC a New York limited liability company; DANIAL ITAHOV, an individual; CHRIS HATTON, an individual, 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 SECOND AMENDED [PROPOSED] TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER Defendants. 24 25 UPON CONSIDERATION of the Motion filed by plaintiff WILLIAM (BILL) 26 WALTERS, (“Walters”), requesting a temporary restraining order and injunction requiring to 27 immediately cease and desist all use of the plaintiff’s name and image in the defendants’ websites, 28 LV 419837350v2 1 1 the supporting memorandum of points and authorities, the supporting declarations and evidence, the 2 record in this case, and for other good cause shown: 3 THE COURT HEREBY FINDS THAT: 4 1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1125 and 28 U.S.C. 5 §§ 1331 and 1338; 6 2. The Court has personal jurisdiction over the defendants in that defendants regularly 7 conduct business via the internet in the State of Nevada, and claim to conduct business relating to 8 sports betting in Las Vegas, in association with the plaintiff who resides in Las Vegas, Nevada, and 9 defendants committed tortious acts that they knew or should have known would cause injury to GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 plaintiff in the State of Nevada; 11 3. Plaintiff, William (Bill) Walters, is a world-renowned sports bettor, who has studied 12 and analyzed gaming for more than twenty years and has developed an unmatched expertise in 13 sports betting. Mr. Walters has invested millions of dollars over the years in technology and analysis 14 of gaming activities. He has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from his gaming investments. 15 DEFENDANTS – COOPER PICKS, MICHAEL COOPER, RICHART RUDDIE 16 & RYAN HOLZMAN 17 4. Defendants, Cooper Picks, Michael Cooper, Richart Ruddie and Ryan Holzman own 18 and operate websites at <cooperspicks.com> and <sportshandicappersmonitor.com> designed to 19 offer sports betting services and information to the gaming public. Defendants’ websites also offers 20 “Billy Walters Sports Picks” claiming the picks come directly from Mr. Walters. They do not. 21 5. Defendants use the plaintiff’s name and likeness, and plaintiff’s world-renown 22 reputation and success in the sports betting industry on their website by offering “Billy Walters 23 Sports Picks” claiming the picks come directly from Mr. Walters. Defendants’ use of plaintiff’s 24 name and likeness is designed to create the impression that they are affiliated with the plaintiff and 25 to encourage bettors not only to visit their websites, but also to purchase defendants’ betting 26 services, which they pass-off as those of Bill Walters. 27 6. Defendants do not have permission or consent to use the plaintiff’s name and likeness 28 and have no other rights permitting such use. LV 419837350v2 2 1 7. Plaintiff has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm if a temporary 2 restraining order is not entered against these defendants directing them to remove all references to 3 the plaintiff, including his name and image and any inferences of affiliation with the plaintiff. The 4 public have purchased defendants’ services believing they were purchasing “picks” from the 5 plaintiff, and may blame the plaintiff for any financial losses they have incurred. The defendants 6 shall further place a prominent disclaimer on each and every page of the website as follows: 7 “This site is not, and has never been associated with, the world renowned William (Bill) Walters of Las Vegas. This is not a site or service which he approves or has ever been associated with.” 8 9 DEFENDANT – BRAD GREENBERG GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 11 8. Defendant, Brad Greenberg owns and operates a website at 12 <billywalterssportsbettingpicks.com> designed to offer sports betting services and information to the 13 gaming public. The domain name incorporates the plaintiff’s name in its entirety, includes terms 14 relating to sports betting, and is linked to a website showing both the plaintiff’s name and image and 15 a video from CBS’ “60 Minutes” interview of plaintiff. 16 9. The website text is written in the first person as if written by the plaintiff himself. It 17 is not. The website claims to offer “Billy Walters Picks” from the Billy Walters syndicate. Plaintiff 18 has no such syndicate and does not offer “picks” to the public. 19 10. Defendant’s use of plaintiff’s name and likeness is designed to create the impression 20 that he is, or he is affiliated with, the plaintiff and to encourage bettors not only to visit defendant’s 21 website, but also to purchase defendant’s betting services. 22 11. Defendant does not have permission to use the plaintiff’s name and likeness and has 23 no other rights permitting such use. 24 12. Plaintiff has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm if a temporary 25 restraining order is not entered against this defendant directing him to transfer all rights in the 26 domain name <billywalterssportsbettingpicks.com> to the plaintiff pending this litigation. The 27 defendant must close the website or remove all references to the plaintiff, including his name and 28 image and any inferences of affiliation with the plaintiff from the website. The public have LV 419837350v2 3 1 purchased defendants’ services believing they were purchasing “picks” from the plaintiff, and may 2 blame the plaintiff for any financial losses they have incurred. 3 DEFENDANTS – JM PICKS, JOHN MACK, RICH GARAFOLA, 4 GLEN PETRELLI & SAL DeCARLO 5 13. Defendants, JM Picks, John Mack, Rich Garafola, Glen Petrelli and Sal DeCarlo own 6 and operate websites at <jmpicks.com> and <jmpicks.net> designed to offer sports betting services 7 and information to the gaming public. Defendants’ websites also offers “Free Billy Walters Picks” 8 claiming the picks come directly from Mr. Walters. They do not. 9 14. Defendants use the plaintiff’s name and likeness, and plaintiff’s world-renown GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 reputation and success in the sports betting industry on their website by offering “Billy Walters 11 Sports Picks” claiming the picks come directly from Mr. Walters. Defendants’ use of plaintiff’s 12 name and likeness is designed to create the impression that they are affiliated with the plaintiff and 13 to encourage bettors not only to visit their websites, but also to purchase defendants’ betting 14 services. 15 15. Defendants do not have permission to use the plaintiff’s name and likeness and have 16 no other rights permitting such use. 17 16. Plaintiff has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm if a temporary 18 restraining order is not entered against these defendants directing them to remove all references to 19 the plaintiff, including his name and image and any inferences of affiliation with the plaintiff. The 20 public have purchased defendants’ services believing they were purchasing “picks” from the 21 plaintiff, and may blame the plaintiff for any financial losses they have incurred. The defendants 22 shall further place a prominent disclaimer on each and every page of the website as follows: 23 “This site is not, and has never been associated with, the world renowned William (Bill) Walters of Las Vegas. This is not a site or service which he approves or has ever been associated with.” 24 25 DEFENDANT – WILLIAM “BILL” CONTI 26 27 17. Defendant, Bill Conti owns and operates a website at <sportssyndicate.com> 28 designed to offer sports betting services and information to the gaming public. Defendant’s website LV 419837350v2 4 1 also offers “Billy Walters Picks” claiming the picks come directly from Mr. Walters. They do not. 2 18. Defendant uses the plaintiff’s name, and world-renown reputation and success in the 3 sports betting industry on his website by offering “Billy Walters Picks” claiming the picks come 4 directly from Mr. Walters. Defendant’s use of plaintiff’s name and likeness is designed to create the 5 impression that defendant is affiliated with the plaintiff and to encourage bettors not only to visit 6 defendant’s website, but also to purchase defendant’s betting services. 7 19. Defendant does not have permission to use the plaintiff’s name and likeness and has 8 no other rights permitting such use. 9 20. Plaintiff has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm if a temporary GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 restraining order is not entered against this defendant directing him to remove all references to the 11 plaintiff, including plaintiff’s name and image and any inferences of affiliation with the plaintiff. 12 The public have purchased defendants’ services believing they were purchasing “picks” from the 13 plaintiff, and may blame the plaintiff for any financial losses they have incurred. The defendants 14 shall further place a prominent disclaimer on each and every page of the website as follows: 15 “This site is not, and has never been associated with, the world renowned William (Bill) Walters of Las Vegas. This is not a site or service which he approves or has ever been associated with.” 16 17 DEFENDANTS – DI GLOBAL MARKETING & DANIEL ITAHOV 18 19 21. Defendants, DI Global Marketing and Daniel Itahov, own and operate a website at 20 <howtoearnmoneybynet.com>. Defendant, Itahov, claims to be a full time internet marketer 21 offering legitimate ways to earn money on the Internet. Defendants expressly acknowledge that they 22 use “tags” or metadata in their source code allowing websites to be found. Defendants expressly 23 acknowledge that one “tag” they use is “Billy Walters.” 24 22. The source code for Defendants’ website at <howtoearnmoneybynet.com> shows 25 Defendants using the metadata “billy walters.” Thus, the code for Defendants’ website is 26 specifically written to drive traffic looking for the plaintiff to the defendants’ website. 27 23. Plaintiff does not have, nor has he ever had, any affiliation with the defendants, 28 DIGM or Itahov. Plaintiff has not, nor has he ever, given the defendants permission to use his name LV 419837350v2 5 1 in relation to their Internet Marketing or any business. 2 24. Plaintiff has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm if a Temporary 3 Restraining Order is not entered against these defendants directing them to remove all references to 4 the plaintiff, including plaintiff’s name and image on their website, and any website they have 5 created, and from any meta data and source code for their website and for any website they have 6 created. The defendants shall further place a prominent disclaimer on each and every page of the 7 website as follows: 8 “This site is not, and has never been associated with, the world renowned William (Bill) Walters of Las Vegas. This is not a site or service which he approves or has ever been associated with.” 9 GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 DEFENDANT – CHRIS HATTON 11 12 25. Defendant registered the domain name <billywalterssportspicks.com> which 13 incorporates Plaintiff’s name in its entirety. The remainder of the domain name refers to sports 14 picks for which the plaintiff is world-renowned. The registrant information identifies the person as 15 the administrative and technical contact as “Billy Walters” with the email address as 16 <maxhatton@juno.com>. At this time the domain name is linked to a parked website hosted by 17 GoDaddy.com. The website currently offers advertising for sports betting related websites. 18 26. The domain name does not contain the defendant’s name, and there appears to be no 19 valid basis for the defendant to register a domain name incorporating the plaintiff’s name in full with 20 the terms “sports picks.” 21 27. Plaintiff has demonstrated that he will suffer irreparable harm if a temporary 22 restraining order is not entered against this defendant directing him to transfer all rights in the 23 domain name <billywalterssportspicks.com> to the plaintiff pending this litigation. Also, for the 24 defendant to cease any and all use of, or references to the plaintiff, including plaintiff’s name and 25 image. The defendants shall further place a prominent disclaimer on each and every page of the 26 website as follows: “This site is not, and has never been associated with, the world 27 renowned William (Bill) Walters of Las Vegas. This is not a site or service which he approves or has ever been associated with.” 28 LV 419837350v2 6 28. 1 Plaintiff has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his False 2 Designation of Origin claim against defendants under the Lanham act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); 29. 3 Plaintiff has demonstrated likelihood of success on the merits of his cybersquatting 4 claims against defendants under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d); 30. 5 Plaintiff has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his violations of 6 rights of publicity Under N.R.S. §597.770 et seq;. 31. 7 Plaintiff has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his deceptive trade 8 practices claim under N.R.S. 598.0903, et seq.; 32. Plaintiff has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his civil conspiracy 33. 9 Plaintiff has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his unjust GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 claim; 11 12 enrichment claim; 34. Plaintiff has demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits of his conversion 35. 13 The balance of hardships tips in favor of plaintiff because issuance of the restraining 14 claim. 15 16 order and injunction would merely lock and transfer the infringing domain names to plaintiff 17 pending trial. Further, removing defendants’ ability to use plaintiff’s name and image to which they 18 have no rights does not prevent them from continuing to do business using other means of 19 advertising and promoting their services. 36. 20 Failure to issue the restraining order and injunction would cause plaintiff to suffer 21 irreparable injury to his name and reputation and continue to face blame and death threats from 22 members of the public who have lost money from purchasing defendants’ services believing they 23 were buying plaintiff’s “picks”. 37. 24 There is no likelihood of harm to the public from the temporary restraining order now 25 being granted. In fact, the public would be protected by issuance of the temporary restraining order 26 because they would not be misinformed that they are buying sports betting “picks” from the plaintiff 27 when they are not. 28 / / / LV 419837350v2 7 1 IT IS THEREFORE ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED that: plaintiff’s motion for 2 temporary restraining order is hereby GRANTED; 3 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1)(C), the domain names 4 <billywalterssportspicks.com> and <billywalterssportsbettingpicks.com> shall be immediately 5 locked by the registrar and/or its successor registrars and take all necessary actions to transfer the 6 infringing domain names to plaintiff. 7 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the registrar and/or its successor registrars remove all 8 existing domain name derver (DNS) entries and corresponding addresses, and enter the registrar’s 9 default domain name server and address entries to prevent further damage caused by the infringing GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 10 use of the infringing domain names. 11 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants will immediately cease and desist any and all 12 use of plaintiff’s name, image, reputation, and any and all variants thereof, including, but not limited 13 to, on their websites, in their advertising, marketing and promotional materials, and in particular in 14 reference to any sports betting “picks.” 15 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants shall place a prominent disclaimer on each and 16 every page of the website as follows: “This site is not, and has never been associated with, the world 17 renowned William (Bill) Walters of Las Vegas. This is not a site or service which he approves or has ever been associated with.” 18 19 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that defendants shall file, pursuant to 15 U.S.C. § 1116(a), with 20 this court and serve upon plaintiff within thirty (30) days after entry of this order, a report in writing 21 under oath setting forth in detail the manner and form in which defendant has complied with this 22 court’s order; and 23 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff shall post a nominal bond of one thousand dollars 24 ($1000) because the evidence indicates that defendants will only suffer minimal, if any, damage by 25 the issuance of this temporary restraining order. ORDER SETTING HEARING FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION 26 UPON CONSIDERATION of plaintiff’s motion, the memorandum of points and 27 28 authorities, the supporting declarations and exhibits, the papers and pleadings on file in this matter LV 419837350v2 8 1 and for good cause shown: 2 1. The Court hereby sets the hearing for plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction on 3 September 11, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. in Courtroom 6A at the Lloyd D. George United States Federal 4 Courthouse, 333 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada, 89101. 5 2. Further, the Court hereby sets the following briefing schedule relating to plaintiff’s 6 motion: 7 (a) 8 September 6, 2012; 9 (b) GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400 North Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 Telephone: (702) 792-3773 Facsimile: (702) 792-9002 Plaintiff shall file and serve its reply brief, if any, no later than September 10, 2012; and 10 11 Defendants shall file and serve opposition papers, if any, no later than 3. In addition, to ensure defendants receive timely notice of the hearing, given that 12 defendants must maintain accurate contact information with the domain name registrar, plaintiff 13 may, in addition to the requirements set forth in Rules 4 and 5 of the Federal Rules of Civil 14 Procedure, serve the motion, this order and all other pleadings filed to date on defendants by 15 electronic mail transmission. 16 17 UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 18 August 30, 2012 at 3:20 p.m. Date and Time: ________________________ 19 20 Respectfully submitted by: 21 GREENBERG TRAURIG, LLP 22 23 Mark G. Tratos (Bar No. 1086) Laraine Burrell (Bar No. 8771) 24 3773 Howard Hughes Parkway, Suite 400N Las Vegas, Nevada 89169 25 Counsel for Plaintiff WILLIAM WALTERS 26 27 28 LV 419837350v2 9

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