Ruling puts use of Mustang Ranch name on hold

Wild Horse brothel owner Lance Gilman vowed Thursday to keep fighting for the famous name "Mustang Ranch."

A Dec. 30 district court ruling has stopped him from opening a brothel by that name until the case over ownership of the trademark is settled.

Gilman had planned to open his $2 million brothel this month with 30 prostitutes and 20 rooms.

"I'm on hold until we do a trademark trial, and that's scheduled in April, which is probably all right because I have a lot of construction do to anyway," he said.

Gilman bought the Mustang Ranch property and its name on eBay for $145,000 from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The old brothel was carried in pieces by truck and helicopter to its new home beside the Wild Horse Adult Resort & Spa off Interstate 80, east of Reno.

David Burgess, who operates a Mustang Ranch brothel in Storey County, has been battling with Gilman over who owns the notorious name since late 2003. He contests that the government never had the right to sell Gilman the trademark.

Burgess' attorney Lara Pearson said since the judge's ruling, Gilman shouldn't be allowed to continue using the name in his advertising.

"We think the judge made the right decision," she said. "We're really pleased with the decision. We are waiting for a clarification of the order because if you open the Reno phone book, you still see an ad in there for (Gilman's) Mustang Ranch."

Gilman said he has not yet been ordered by the court to discontinue advertising for his Mustang Ranch brothel.

"All I'm facing at this moment in time is that I may not open the buildings as the Mustang Ranch," he said. "I must wait until after the court hearing."

Gilman said he may rename the buildings if it comes to that.

Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at or 881-1212.


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