M life or M'Life? MGM Resorts files trademark lawsuit against Vegas men behind pot shop plan

Technology Associated Press

A single apostrophe won't be enough to separate M life and M'Life in the minds of customers, according to an MGM Resorts International trademark lawsuit against two people who want to open a marijuana dispensary.

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The casino giant claims M'Life Wellness and related businesses chose a name too close to the resort's own M life customer loyalty program, which it spent millions of dollars to promote.

Daniel Lutz said Thursday he doesn't want his pot enterprise to be confused with a casino loyalty program. He said M'Life stands for marijuana "raised to the power of life."

There should be no confusion, he said, because his business and MGM Resorts are in distinctly different trades.

"We're very willing to work with them," Lutz said. "In no way do we not want to be a good neighbor to MGM."

The casino company's lawsuit filed Sept. 17 in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas accuses Lutz and Darvin Gomez of trademark dilution, unfair competition and cybersquatting.

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Nevada and the city of Las Vegas cleared the way for medical marijuana dispensaries earlier this year.

Lutz and Gomez have co-owned the names M'Life Wellness LLC and M'Life Nevada LLC since July. They're awaiting state and city approvals to open a dispensary in Las Vegas. Lutz said he expects a decision by mid-November.

Marijuana dispensaries can't legally register federal trademarks because the drug is illegal in the U.S.

Lutz said Thursday he hadn't read the lawsuit.

His company tweaked the logo after first hearing from MGM, before the casino giant filed its lawsuit, he said. The new logo emphasizes the M and the apostrophe following it.

MGM Grand launched its M life loyalty program in 2010 and has six registered federal trademarks. The program offers rewards to customers at 15 MGM Resorts hotels.