Hotel California, a small but apparently lovely Mexican hotel established in 1950, denies the Eagles’ “baseless” claims it infringes rights in the famous 1976 album and song of the same name.
The hotel denies its use of the mark Hotel California is likely to cause any confusion, deception or mistake which associates the hotel with or suggests endorsement by the band. It is reported the hotel also asserts that the Eagles have acquiesced to the hotel’s use or taken too long to assert their rights.
Maybe it’s the hotel’s genuine charm, or maybe its “huge” margaritas have a part to play, but the fightback has opened up a new front: showing the kind of spirit not seen since 1969, trip advisor reviewers are jumping to the hotel’s defence, demanding the Eagles, “leave this wonderful small business run by good people alone”, and levying accusations of, “Hollywood bullying tactics” (not to be confused with this).
Read more about this David v Goliath battle below.
Protecting your brand
Here in the UK, whilst trade mark owners should not generally sit on their hands and should take pro-active steps to protect their rights, it can be difficult for a defendant to assert mere delay as a defence. Delay may be an ingredient in acquiescence, but that tends to require something more than a mere failure to sue; for example, some positive act of encouragement by the rights holder.