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(Little Rock) (AP) – The state Supreme Court says the Arkansas Lottery Commission can’t be sued by a businessman who said he owns the name of the lottery.

Justices on Thursday reversed a lower court’s ruling that said the lawsuit against the lottery commission isn’t barred under the sovereign immunity doctrine, which prohibits lawsuits against the state. A Pulaski County judge last year denied a motion to dismiss the lawsuit.

In a split decision Thursday, the high court dismissed the lawsuit, saying that the lottery commission is entitled to sovereign immunity.

Alpha Marketing says it owned the trademarks for the terms “Arkansas Lottery,” ”Arkansas Lotto” and “Lottery Arkansas” long before the state began selling lottery tickets in 2009. Voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2008 creating the games to fund college scholarships.

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