Trade dress dispute against restaurant chain Hard Rock Café settled

Hard Rock CaféA trade dress dispute brought by US-based Red Lion Hotels against restaurant chain Hard Rock Café has been settled, following accusations of infringement by Hard Rock’s ‘Reverb’ hotel brand.

Signed by Judge Lewis Kaplan on Monday, October 2, the stipulation and order for dismissal was issued with prejudice and with both sides to bear their own costs and attorneys’ fees.

It comes after Red Lion Hotels filed a trade dress infringement complaint at the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in July, claiming Hard Rock’s Reverb hotel was too similar to the Hotel RL brand.

“Hotel RL’s signature elements are used consistently throughout each of the seven Hotel RL locations currently open across the US to create a unique and distinct hotel experience, differentiated from a sterile and commoditized hotel chain,” the complaint read.

The “signature elements” aimed to create an “atmosphere and vibe of a modern Pacific Northwest coffeehouse”. Features listed on the complaint include a “tech savvy, forward-thinking front desk experience” and a “dedicated lobby performance area where local artists can showcase their projects and points of view”.

Red Lion Hotels claimed Hard Rock launched its Reverb brand at a similar market, referred to as “millennial mindset travellers comfortable with an upscale three-star experience”. The complaint claimed that Hard Rock copied each of the Hotel RL “signature elements”, including the front desk and stage area, in its 2016 launch.

Details of the dismissal were not disclosed. The Hard Rock Reverb hotel website is still active, but is not currently taking bookings.

 

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