In Trademark Licensing Matter, Strategic Negotiation Tactics Loosen Tight Grip of Control by Celebrity Brand Owner, Giving Casino Developer Green Light to Build
Where we started: A major casino developer turned to our lawyers for help negotiating the licensing of brands and the intellectual property portfolio of an international celebrity. The design and construction of the proposed sprawling casino complex consisted of many moving parts and a theme that depended upon the cooperation of a famous celebrity and brand owner who wanted to maintain tight control over many development decisions, as well as the quality and the utilization of the brands.
Our strategy – plus more: We knew this project faced time constraints, so we moved quickly to learn all we could about our client’s objectives and the celebrity, his brands, and his goals. The control the celebrity wanted to retain threatened to inhibit our client’s freewheeling creativity in the development of the property, which presented challenges that don’t typically manifest in a straight-up trademark licensing matter. We dug deep into every nitty-gritty detail of the proposed casino, its operations, and the developer’s needs regarding the utilization of the intellectual property. We then created a tactical negotiation strategy and deployed it in discussions with the celebrity trademark owner and his formidable legal team.
Upshot: After back-and-forth negotiations with an enterprise that was accustomed to leveraging every component of intellectual property the entertainer has developed over the years, we closed the deal. Our client successfully funded and completed the $250-$300 million casino project.