By Walter Whitman Moore
The Eagles have filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles for trademark infringement against a California company that operates a "Hotel California" in Mexico. You can read the complaint for yourself by clicking here.
Don't be surprised if the defendant files a motion saying that the case belongs in Mexico. The defendant may also point out that the plaintiffs have not alleged that they ever registered their trademark in Mexico, or applied their trademark to a hotel, as opposed to t-shirts and other merchandise.
Also, the plaintiffs admit in their complaint that the hotel originally opened with the name "Hotel California" back in the 1950s, long before the Eagles first sang their song. However, the plaintiffs also allege that the name was changed later, then changed back.
As for the evidence that the defendant is trying to mislead consumers into thinking this is the hotel about which the Eagles were singing, Exhibit A to the complaint consists of third parties' reviews of the hotel on the internet on Trip Advisor -- not statements made by the defendant hotel company.
This one could be interesting.
Walter Whitman Moore is a business trial lawyer in Beverly Hills. His website is LicensedToSue.com.