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Hard Rock Cafe v. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Complaint

Hard Rock Cafe v. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Complaint

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Published by Ryan Gile, Esq.
Complaint filed in Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. v. Hard Rock Hotel Holdings, LLC et al, Case No. 10-cv-07244 (S.D.N.Y. Filed September 21, 2010).
Complaint filed in Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. v. Hard Rock Hotel Holdings, LLC et al, Case No. 10-cv-07244 (S.D.N.Y. Filed September 21, 2010).

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Published by: Ryan Gile, Esq. on Sep 23, 2010
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05/10/2013

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Case 1:10-cv-07244-UA Document 1 Filed 09/21/10 Page 1 of 60
v.Plaintiff,HARD
ROCK
CAFEINTERNATIONAL(USA),INC.,
10
~
DORSEY&WHITNEYLriPBruceR.Ewing(BE-0724)BrookeE.Pietrzak(BP-7314)Gianfranco
G.
Mitrione(GM-8618)250ParkAvenue
New
York,
New
York10177(212)415-9200AttorneysforPlaintiffHardRockCafeInternational(USA),Inc.UNITEDSTATESDISTRICTCOURTSOUTHERNDISTRICTOF
NEW
YORK
)))))))
HARD
ROCK
HOTELHOLDINGS,LLC,)HARD
ROCK
HOTEL,INC.,HRHHIP,LLC,)MORGANSHOTELGROUPCO.,MORGANS)HOTELGROUPMANAGEMENT,LLC,)DLJMB
HRH
VOTECOLLC,TURNER)BROADCASTING'SYSTEM,INC.,BRAD)LACHMANPRODUCTIONS,INC.andGENCO)ENTERTAINMENT,INC.,)
)
________
D_e:D_en_d_a_n_ts_.
)CaseNo.
COMPLAINT
JURYTRIAL
DEMANDED
PlaintiffHardRockCafeInternational(USA),Inc.,byitsattorneys,Dorsey
&
WhitneyLLP,foritsComplaintagainstDefendantsHardRockHotelHoldings,LLC,HardRockHotel,Inc.,
HRHH
IP,LLC,MorgansHotelGroupCo.,MorgansHotelGroupManagement,LLC,DLJMB
HRH
VoteCoLLC,TurnerBroadcastingSystem,Inc.,BradLachmanProductions,Inc.andGencoEntertainment,Inc.(collectively,"Defendants"),allegesasfollows:
 
-2-
INTRODUCTION
1.
 
Plaintiff, the owner of the iconic trademarks HARD ROCK, HARD ROCKCAFE, HARD ROCK HOTEL, HARD ROCK CASINO, HARD ROCK LIVE and relatedmarks, brings this action in order to protect the enormous goodwill in its world-renownedtrademarks from being systematically diminished, devalued and damaged by the wrongfulconduct of Defendants, most of whom operate or have authorized others to operate certain hotel-casinos in parts of the western half of the United States, including the Hard Rock Hotel & Casinoin Las Vegas, Nevada. Defendants are licensees of Plaintiff or entities in privity with licenseesof Plaintiff who are using the trademarks HARD ROCK HOTEL, HARD ROCK CASINO andrelated trademarks in a manner that has intentionally, materially breached the terms of a 1996license agreement entered into with Plaintiff’s predecessor and that violates Plaintiff’s trademarkrights under federal and New York law.2.
 
Among other misconduct described herein, Defendants have caused Plaintiff’sfamous trademarks to become associated with objectionable and offensive conduct that is at oddswith the brand imagery of the HARD ROCK trademarks; used and/or authorized others to usePlaintiff’s trademarks in a manner not permitted under the aforementioned license agreement; asto some Defendants, registered Internet domain names to which they have no right; and, mostimportantly, failed to use their best efforts to protect the goodwill associated with Plaintiff’strademarks established over many years among U.S. consumers.3.
 
As a consequence of Defendants’ material breaches of contract and violations of federal and state law, Plaintiff is entitled to the termination of the 1996 license agreement, theentry of permanent injunctive relief against all future use by Defendants or those in privity withthem of all of Plaintiff’s HARD ROCK trademarks, an award of monetary damages, anaccounting of Defendants’ profits, and other relief aimed at ensuring that the substantial goodwill
Case 1:10-cv-07244-UA Document 1 Filed 09/21/10 Page 2 of 60
 
-3-built up over so many years in Plaintiff’s HARD ROCK trademarks is not further eroded byDefendants’ wrongful conduct.
PARTIES, JURISDICTION AND VENUE
4.
 
Plaintiff Hard Rock Cafe International (USA), Inc. (“HRCI”) is a corporationorganized and existing under the laws of the State of Florida, having a principal place of businessat 6100 Old Park Lane, Orlando, Florida 32835.5.
 
On information and belief, Defendant Hard Rock Hotel Holdings, LLC (“HRHoldings”) is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, with a principal place of business located at 4455 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada89109.6.
 
On information and belief, Defendant Hard Rock Hotel, Inc. (“HR, Inc.”) is acorporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Nevada, with a principal placeof business located at 4455 Paradise Road, Las Vegas, Nevada 89109. On information andbelief, HR, Inc. is a subsidiary of HR Holdings.7.
 
On information and belief, Defendant HRHH IP, LLC (“HR IP”) is a limitedliability company organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, with aprincipal place of business located at 475 Tenth Avenue, New York, New York 10018.8.
 
On information and belief, Defendant Morgans Hotel Group Co. (“MorgansHotel”) is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, with aprincipal place of business located at 475 Tenth Avenue, New York, New York 10018. Oninformation and belief, Morgans is an owner, member and/or manager of Defendant HRHoldings.9.
 
On information and belief, Defendant Morgans Hotel Group Management, LLC(“Morgans Management”) is a limited liability company organized and existing under the laws
Case 1:10-cv-07244-UA Document 1 Filed 09/21/10 Page 3 of 60

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