Eagles sue Mexican Hotel California for false association with famous song

From the Guardian

Rock stars claim visitors to the hotel in the Baja resort town of Todos Santos are falsely led to believe it inspired the band’s biggest hit

The rock band Eagles have filed a lawsuit accusing a hotel in Mexico of using the name Hotel California – the band’s Grammy award-winning song from 1976 – without permission.

In a complaint filed in the Central District of California court on 1 May, the Eaglesallege that owners of the 11 room hotel in Baja California Sur “actively encourage” visitors to believe it is directly affiliated with the band.

“Multiple online reviews make clear that US consumers who visit the Todos Santos Hotel and buy Defendants’ merchandise do, in fact, believe that the Todos Santos Hotel is associated with the Eagles, which is not the case,” court documents say.

“Through advertising targeted to US consumers, and in-person communications, Defendants lead US 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 hotel’s false connections with the group have been encouraged by piping Hotel California and other Eagles songs through its sound system, it is alleged. The Eagles also claim that the defendant, Hotel California Baja LLC, had applied to register the Hotel California name with the US Patent and Trademark Office.

According to the documents, the Todos Santos hotel was named Hotel California when it opened in 1950, but after new owners – a Canadian couple, John and Debbie Stewart – bought it in 2001, it is alleged they began using the original name in marketing and merchandise.

The hotel’s owners have yet to comment publicly about the allegations.

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