The Eagles sue Hotel
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[May 03, 2017]
By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) - The Eagles have
filed a lawsuit accusing the owners of a Mexico hotel of
using the name "Hotel California," arguably the band's
most famous song, without permission.
In a complaint filed late Monday, the Eagles said owners of
the 11-room Todos Santos hotel in Baja California Sur "actively
encourage" guests to believe the hotel is associated with the
band, in order to sell t-shirts and other merchandise, and make
guests feel welcome.
This allegedly included piping "Hotel California" and other
Eagles songs through the hotel sound system, and selling
t-shirts in that refer to the hotel as "legendary," resulting in
apparent confusion among many guests who posted online reviews.
The Eagles also noted that the defendant Hotel California Baja
LLC has applied with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to
register the Hotel California name.
"Defendants lead U.S. consumers to believe that the Todos Santos
Hotel is associated with the Eagles and, among other things,
served as the inspiration for the lyrics in 'Hotel California,'
which is false," the complaint said.
The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court seeks a variety
of damages and a halt to any infringement.
Neither the hotel nor the lawyer who filed its trademark
application immediately responded on Tuesday to requests for
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The Todos Santos hotel was named Hotel California when it opened in
1950, but went through a series of name changes before a Canadian
couple, John and Debbie Stewart, bought it in 2001, and according to
the Eagles began using the original name in marketing. Its website
"Hotel California" is the title track from the 1976 Eagles album of
the same name, and won the 1977 Grammy award for record of the year.
It is known for its long guitar outro featuring Don Felder and Joe
Walsh, and complex lyrics sung by Don Henley.
In an interview with CBS News last year, Henley said the song is
about "a journey from innocence to experience. It's not really about
California; it's about America."
The case is Eagles Ltd v Hotel California Baja LLC et al, U.S.
District Court, Central District of California, No. 17-03276.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Marguerita
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