Spearmint Rhino Defends Strip Club Supremacy Against Peppermint Hippo in Trademark Battle


In the city known for both its lights and vice, the evocatively titled Spearmint Rhino has long reigned supreme in the realm of topless entertainment since its inception in 1999. A name recognizable to those seeking rather adult amusement has a newcomer stepping into its territory. It is a clash not of strip club titans, but of a gum-flavored pachyderm against a peppermint-tinted aquatic mammal.

The Spearmint Rhino is taking the Peppermint Hippo to court, alleging a breach of trademark rights. The court papers, filed in the U.S. District Court of Nevada on March 19, however, does not request any damages. The Spearmint Rhino, secure in its dominance, merely seeks to compel a name change of the new entity on the strip.

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For the past two decades, the Spearmint Rhino has been the preferred destination for those seeking the edge of sin while in the Sin city. Yet, in 2019, the newcomer Peppermint Hippo started chipping away at that reputation. Interestingly, the Peppermint Hippo found its nest in the erstwhile abode of another famed Vegas landmark, the now-defunct Olympic Garden.

The Rhino, in its lawsuit, emphasised the value in its name, asserting to have used it since October 15, 1992, for adult cabaret services. The club’s lawsuit went to further assert that its trademarks are both distinct and globally renowned, signifying quality venues for adult entertainment services. The lawsuit further argues that the Hippo’s trademarks tarnish and blur the glowing image of their own.

Casting a somewhat eccentric spin into the tale is the Hippo’s founder and CEO, Alan Chang. Dismissing the lawsuit as “ridiculous” and merely the beginning of a “strip war,” Chang requests a dismissal of the case. His history, as a former director of business development for the Spearmint Rhino from 2007 until 2014, may add more fuel to this firestorm.

In a twist of irony, Chang claims his inspiration did not come from his former place of employment but from a comedic source, the TV series “South Park.” The series showcased a mythical strip club bearing the now-contested name of Peppermint Hippo, which Chang adopted, admitting he found it “hilarious.”

Boasting 27,000 square feet, the Hippo provides amenities like state-of-the-art sound and lighting, VIP suites, a podcast studio, a speakeasy, and 24/7 entertainment. Not to be outdone, the Rhino sprawls across a massive 37,500 square feet. Despite the size difference, the Hippo has been overshadowing its competitor on the celebrity front, hosting stars like Usher, Mike Tyson, and even Kim Kardashian.

This epic showdown is due to be judged by U.S. Magistrate Judge Brenda Weksler in February 2025, with the Rhino striding into the courtroom seeking a trial by jury. As the saga unfolds, Chang offers a philosophical take. “In the wild, hippos and rhinos co-exist. Why not Vegas?” With this in mind, one can’t help but await the result of this intriguing, animal-named litigation in Vegas.