Its not everyday you wake up and a trademark infringement lawsuit is trending on Twitter. Some people would chose to stay in bed on such slow news days but here we call it Christmas II. The rock band, the Eagles, sued a real-life “Hotel California” claiming the hotel is inappropriately using the trademarked title of the hit song. And the Internet has not responded with niceness.
“Hotel California” is probably the most famous song released by the Eagles way back in 1976. Of course, in the true spirit of rock-and-roll, with a well-known song, comes merchandise. The Eagles, through its company Eagles, Ltd., have distributed all sorts of nonsense with the HOTEL CALIFORNIA trademark on it including t-shirts (see to the right), keychains, posters, mugs and refrigerator magnets. (Cue the immoral Reel Big Fish’s “Sell Out“.) As a result of this long use of HOTEL MARK, the Eagles claim ownership to trademark rights in the term.
In Todos Santos, Mexico, the defendants operate a “Hotel California” real-life, mint on the pillows, cleaning staff banging on your door hotel. The Eagles claim the hotel is creating a false connection with the brand and selling unauthorized merchandise bearing the HOTEL CALIFORNIA trademark. This false association is created by playing the song throughout the hotel and referring to the hotel as “legendary.” Defendants fought to register a trademark for the term and that fight continues and this lawsuit is side B to the Eagles enforcement efforts.
The Eagles seek damages for trademark infringement and want the hotel to be banned from using the HOTEL CALIFORNIA. Today, the Internet have expressed mass anger towards the Eagles claiming they are being greedy and shaking down the hotel. The rule is if you don’t protect your trademark rights, you lose them. The hotel is clearly playing off of the band’s fame and you can understand why they got upset. Seems like it would be better for all the parties to go chill in the hotel’s jacuzzi and reach a quick settlement.