Eagles Settle Lawsuit With Hotel California Operators

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The album cover of the Eagles’ Hotel California

“Hotel California” may be one of The Eagles’ most popular songs, but that doesn’t mean they want anyone staying there. Reuters news service reported today (Jan. 18) that the band and a Mexican hotel, that has been operating under the name Hotel California, have settled a lawsuit. The hotel’s owners have withdrawn an application to trademark the name in the U.S. (The establishment’s full title is Hotel California Todos Santos.) The Eagles’ suit had claimed that the 11-room establishment in Todos Santos, Mexico has no right to affiliate itself with the band or its music.

In their suit the Eagles claimed that the hotel is illegally cashing in by selling merchandise—including t-shirts, playing cards, refrigerator magnets, keychains, posters and, of course, guitar picks—with the name Hotel California emblazoned. The band had also claimed that the Mexican inn “actively encourages consumers to believe that the hotel in Todos Santos is associated with the Eagles to further their sale” by playing Eagles music in its lobby, particularly the song of that name.

“This case has been settled by mutual agreement of the parties,” Thomas Jirgal, a lawyer for the Eagles, told Reuters. The news agency reports that the hotel owners “permanently abandoned… their trademark application” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office.

“Through advertising targeted to U.S. consumers, and in-person communications, defendants lead U.S. consumers to believe that the Todos Santos Hotel is associated with the Eagles and, among other things, served as the inspiration for the lyrics in ‘Hotel California,’ which is false,” the lawsuit claimed.

The Hotel California in Mexico

The hotel, in the Baja California section of Mexico, has been in existence since 1950; the song was released in 1976. The establishment underwent several name changes over the years before being restored to the original.

This is not the first time the Eagles have sued over the name. A restaurant in Dallas, Hotel California Grill, was reportedly taken to court by the group but decided not to fight and instead changed its name.

Related: The Eagles released a 40th anniversary edition of the Hotel California album in 2017

Listen to a live version of the Eagles’ classic from the new release


Best Classic Bands Staff

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