SPOKANE, Wash. — Red Lion Hotels Corporation (RLHC) has filed a lawsuit against Hard Rock Café International in federal court in New York. The complaint alleges, among other things, that Hard Rock copied RLHC’s distinctive trade dress for its Hotel RL brand, which is protected by federal trade-dress law.
The Hotel RL brand focuses on the millennial mindset and features signature elements, such as a prominent coffee bar attended by trained baristas; a Living Stage, where local artists, musicians, activists, et. cetera, can showcase projects and points of view; “The Steps” — a communal, stadium-like seating area across from The Living Stage, where guests can relax, plug in and work or take in a Living-Stage performance; and a flexible and tech-savvy front-desk experience.
RLHC says it discovered in June that Hard Rock was planning to launch a new brand — Reverb — in direct competition with Hotel RL and that this brand had been developed with The Gettys Group — the same branding group used to develop the Hotel RL brand. RLHC believes the Reverb brand plagiarizes the Hotel RL signature elements.
RLHC’s complaint seeks compensatory damages, an injunction, Hard Rock’s profits from its Reverb chain and legal fees and costs.