A federal court in Florida has refused a request by Hard Rock Hotels to block the RockStar Hotels collection from using the RockStar name.

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 for comment.

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 offerings."

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 globe.

 

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