A federal court in Florida has refused a request by Hard
Rock Hotels to block the RockStar Hotels collection from using the RockStar
In rejecting Hard Rock's motion for a temporary injunction
in its trademark-infringement suit against the boutique hotel collection, the
United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida said that "rock
star" has more than one meaning, only one of which relates to music. The
court also said that the services and experiences offered by each hotel group
are more than sufficiently different to avoid confusion.
RockStar's attorney, Laura Chapman, said the court "clearly
reached the right result in rejecting Hard Rock's request for a preliminary
injunction and finding that Hard Rock is unlikely to prevail at trial.
"Trademark infringement requires proof of a likelihood
of confusion between brand names and there is no confusion here," she said.
"RockStar Hotels can rightfully continue using its brand name."
Hard Rock Hotels did not immediately respond to a request
Robert Santucci, president of RockStar Hotels, called the
ruling a "great victory for the independent entrepreneur facing
intimidation by Goliath. We have a notably distinct offering aimed at
discerning travelers, and we are very appreciative of the court's decisive
recognition that in no way do we infringe on the Hard Rock's identity or
Santucci, a veteran of Marriott and Starwood hotel brands,
launched the RockStar Hotels collection of boutique hotels in January 2017 with
40 independent luxury properties in seven countries, including the Hotel Ville
Sull'Arno and Hotel Regency in Florence, Magna Pars Suites Milano in Milan,
Hotel Lord Byron in Rome, and Palazzo Venart Luxury Hotel and Sina Centurion
Palace in Venice. Today, the collection has grown to some 140 hotels around the