In a nutshell, this is the tale of two slogans:
"What Happens Here, Stays Here."
"What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas."
The advertising agency of R&R Partners, Inc, created the slogan, "What
Happens Here, Stays Here" for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
Authority (LVCVA). In 2004, the LVCVA sold its interests in the
slogan to R&R Partners for $1. R&R has applied to register its
trademark of the slogan.
However, Dorothy Tovar of Placerville, California, registered a
trademark of a similar slogan, "What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas,"
and is reportedly using it on T-shirts and underwear sold at Las Vegas
souvenir shops and elsewhere.
R&R Partners and the LVCVA have sued Ms Tovar and her company "Pure
Pleasure" for trademark infringement because of the "What Happens in
Vegas Stays in Vegas" products.
From the Las Vegas Sun:
"The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board may go to court
to make sure that its popular tourism slogan, "What happens here,
stays here," also applies to the slogan itself...
...in litigation against Dorothy Tovar of Placerville, Calif., who
used the trademark slogan "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" on a
line of clothing sold at Strip resorts and elsewhere.
..."All I can tell you is that if we consider a potential trademark to
be in conflict with 'What happens here, stays here,' we will prosecute
those trademarks in filings with the trademark office," Puschnig said.
"Some of our oppositions will be filed against Dorothy Tovar."
Daniel Ballard, Tovar's attorney, does not dispute that the LVCVA has
the right to trademark the "What happens here" slogan. But said he did
not believe the authority could successfully oppose his client's
trademarks because the trademark office generally does not get
involved in such disputes when there is litigation on the same matter
in federal court.
R&R Partners Inc., the Las Vegas advertising firm that devised the
"What happens here" slogan for the LVCVA, has applied for two federal
"marks" to use the phrase on goods and services and in promotional
campaigns. The company currently owns the Nevada marks for that
The LVCVA transferred its trademark rights to the slogan to R&R in a
secret deal in November intended to give R&R a better chance of
fighting Tovar in federal court. The LVCVA has since joined R&R as a
plaintiff in the trademark infringement case."
Here are links to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office records of
Dorothy Tovar's registered trademark of the use of the slogan, "What
Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas" on T-shirts and underwear:
Here are links to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office records of the
trademark applications of the advertising agency, R&R Partners Inc,
for the slogan "What Happens Here, Stays Here."
"Law firm critical of LVCVA's slogan deal"
"LVCVA Hires Law Firm for 'What Happens' Lawsuit"
"Las Vegas slogan sparks lawsuit"
uspto.gov search: happens AND vegas
google: tovar "happens in vegas", etc
I hope this helps.