Technology Law Source

Tag Archives: Trademark Infringement

‘This could be heaven or this could be hell’ for Hotel California

Nearly 50 miles south of San Diego in Mexico lies an eleven room hotel which is currently making waves for its name, Hotel California, which is also the name of the Eagles classic single and album. The boutique hotel was originally named Hotel California at its 1950 opening but has since undergone several name changes. Ultimately the original name, Hotel California, was revived sometime after a Canadian couple bought it in 2001.

Although the Baja hotel has been around for over 60 years many of us are more familiar with Hotel California being associated with one of America’s greatest rock bands, the Eagles. Both the song and album, “Hotel California,” have arguably become legendary. The album won the 1977 Grammy Award for record of the year and is one of the best-selling albums of all time.…


Co-Authored By: Robert J. Morgan For those businesses that might be tempted to enjoin another’s use of a common name, be advised: you might be inviting unexpected grief.  In a “where the rubber hits the road decision,” the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Court of Appeals ruled recently in the case of Bedford Auto Dealers Ass’n v. Mercedes Benz of North Olmsted, 2012-Ohio-927, 2012 WL 760626 (Cuyahoga App. March 8, 2012), that the relatively common term “automile” is generic and not entitled to trademark protection.…

Latest Apple Trademark Dispute Highlights Need for Careful Mark Selection

Despite being the world’s foremost creator of hip consumer technology and a brand recognized worldwide, Apple has consistently managed to find itself embroiled in seemingly avoidable trademark disputes. As discussed in Hiroko Tabuchi’s New York Times article, "IPad? That’s So 2002," Fujitsu Says, Apple has found itself in another very public trademark dispute.  While the latest flap is that created by Apple’s use of iPad with its new tablet computer, it is by no means the first time Apple has been accused of trademark infringement.

In perhaps one of the most well known trademark disputes, Apple Computer sparred with Apple Corps on multiple occasions. Apple Computer’s first dustup with the corporate entity behind the Beatles’ Apple Records record label occurred in 1978 (shortly after the founding of Apple Computer in 1976) when Apple Corps sued Apple Computer for trademark violation. The parties settled that dispute in 1981 with the understanding that Apple Computer would never enter the music industry.

Predictably, in hindsight, Apple Corps filed suit against Apple Computer again eight years after the settlement—this time for violating the original agreement not to enter the music industry.…