LOS ANGELES, April 24 /PRNewswire/ — 8440 LLC, an affiliate of Ian Schrager Hotel
Management LLC, filed suit yesterday in the United States District Court in Los Angeles
to protect its well-established trademark SKYBAR.
SKYBAR is a world famous and highly popular bar, party place and entertainment facility
at the Mondrian Hotel, 8440 Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. It was opened in
1996 and enjoys a unique ambiance and appeal.
Defendants in the lawsuit are Midnight Oil Company LLC, Rande Gerber and Scott Gerber.
According to the complaint, Rande Gerber previously managed SKYBAR under a Consulting
Agreement and without Schrager's consent filed two applications with the United States
Patent and Trademark Office to register the SKYBAR name on behalf of Gerber's separately
owned company, defendant Midnight Oil. The complaint goes on to charge that the
Gerbers then joined forces with Starwood hotels, a direct competitor of Schrager,
and began developing competing bars in various Starwood hotels in order to circumvent
non-competition agreements Rande Gerber had signed with Schrager.
In 2000, litigation was filed and was settled upon terms which included the Gerbers
and Midnight Oil agreeing to surrender and assign all rights that they have in any
intellectual property relating to the name SKYBAR to Schrager's 8440 LLC. The complaint
charges that notwithstanding the settlement agreement, Midnight Oil then filed an
application for federal trademark registration for Whiskey Sky, has opened a Whiskey
Sky bar in Chicago and in Las Vegas and has publicly announced its intention to
do so in Los Angeles.
The complaint also charges that in advertising its Whiskey Sky bar, the defendants
misrepresent their affiliation with Schrager by advertising Where L.A.'s SKYBAR
meets New York's Whiskey bar…and who knows who you'll meet.
The complaint charges breach of contract, trademark infringement, false advertising,
and unfair competition. It seeks injunctive relief and unspecified damages.
According to Ian Schrager, We have filed this lawsuit in order to put an end, once
and for all, to the confusion created by the defendants. One would think that they
could have picked a different name for their operations than to use the name 'SKY.'
The plaintiffs are represented by Marshall B. Grossman and Gwyn Quillen of the Los
Angeles based law firm of Alschuler Grossman Stein & Kahan LLP.