If you created a song talking about a hotel you've made up in your mind, the last thing you'd expect is to find that someone has built it as a result. That's what happened to the Eagles, though, who discovered that a hotel in Mexico decided to name itself Hotel California. The hotel shares its name with the iconic song from 1976, one that most people still know to this day.
After taking legal action against the hotel, the Eagles finally settled their case. The terms of the settlement weren't released to the news when it was published on Jan. 19.
The band claims that the hotel actually used the name to make it appear as if it was the hotel spoken of in the song. In the hotel, the lobby and merchandise gift shop both refer to the song and the alleged fact that this was the hotel it was about. The hotel is not actually connected to the Eagles.
In 1950, the hotel actually was already named Hotel California, but its name had changed until 2001 when it was once again branded as Hotel California. The Eagles had not trademarked the phrase from their well-known song, but since it's so well-known and associated with the band, it claims it has common law rights to the name that have been in place since the 1970s.
What is known is that the hotel will continue to use the name "Hotel California" in Mexico, though both the band and hotel have now applied for trademarks for the phrase.
If you find that a business is marketing itself based on your business' products, you can file a claim. This case is a good example of how not protecting your rights can come back to haunt you.
Source: Billboard, "Eagles Settle 'Hotel California' Trademark Lawsuit With Mexico Inn," Colin Stutz, Jan. 18, 2018