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Monday, July 22, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

9th Hears Strip Clubs’ ‘Crazy Horse’ Mark Fight

SAN FRANCISCO (CNS) - Whether the current owners of the Crazy Horse Too strip club can continue using the Crazy Horse mark in its name is up to the 9th Circuit after both sides submitted oral arguments Monday.

Bruno Tarabichi, representing Russell Road Food and Beverage, argued that Michael Galem and others "only acquired the land and not the trademark" during a 2011 federal foreclosure sale of the Crazy Horse Too strip club, located at 2467 Industrial Rd. in Las Vegas.

"The trademark was not transferred," Tarabichi said, adding that only the property sold during the foreclosure was defined as only the land and buildings and did not include the intellectual property owned by former owners Rick Rizzolo and The Power Company.

"We would like the court to say the defendants did not acquire the trademark during the 2011 foreclosure sale," Tarabichi said.

Bryan Altman, representing Galem, argued "there is ample evidence the trademark was transferred," adding that "the trademark is very valuable."

Altman says the intellectual property formerly owned by Rizzolo and The Power Company was forfeited along with the rest of the property to the federal government and is referenced in the guarantee and in the deed of transfer.

Rizzolo forfeited the club to federal authorities after being charged with racketeering and tax evasion in 2006, for which he served a year in prison.

Whether or not the intellectual property was referenced, 9th Circuit Judge Sandra Ikuta said there still is an issue of abandonment that also must be decided as the mark was not used for more than three years before the 2011 foreclosure sale.

Judge John Noonan suggested the case is "too complicated" for the appeals court and should be decided by the Nevada Federal District Court.

Although still disputing the Crazy Horse trademark, the Crazy Horse Too's owners closed the club on Aug. 23 due to a lack of profitability just 19 months after being reopened, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

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