Eagles Sue 'Hotel California' in Mexico for Trademark Infringement

Band accuses hotel of capitalizing off false association with famous 1976 album, song

The Eagles are suing a a hotel in Mexico that bills itself as the "Hotel California" for trademark infringement.
Eagles Sue 'Hotel California' in Mexico for Trademark Infringement

The Eagles are suing a hotel in Todos Santos, Mexico that bills itself as the Hotel California for trademark infringement and trying to capitalize off of the band's famous 1976 album and song, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

In a lawsuit, the band argues that the hotel has falsely led consumers to believe that it is associated with the Eagles and inspired "Hotel California." "Multiple online reviews make clear that U.S. consumers who visit the Todos Santos Hotel and buy Defendants' merchandise do, in fact, believe that the Todos Santos Hotel is associated with the Eagles, which is not the case," the suit reads.

A representative for the Eagles declined to comment. A representative for the hotel did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone's request for comment.

The suit goes on to argue that "Hotel California" is "arguably the band's most popular song, and in many ways embodies the very essence of the band itself. The song continues to be hugely popular, and the song's name has become synonymous with the band." The Eagles have also sold merchandise bearing the "Hotel California" name for decades, though an application to register the trademark for merchandise is still pending.

Coincidentally, the Todos Santos Hotel did open in 1950 under the name Hotel California. However, the suit notes that it has since gone through several name and ownership changes. The current owners, Debbie and John Stewart, bought the hotel in 2001, and the suit alleges that they tried to revitalize and market the hotel around a connection to the Eagles. Along with playing the Eagles' music in the hotel, the suit claims that the Todos Santos Hotel sells items in its gift shop that refer to the hotel as "legendary," insinuating a connection to the band and song.

The Eagles are seeking an injunction to stop the hotel from using the Hotel California name or doing anything else to imply a connection to the band. They're also seeking all related profits, plus damages and relief.

While the Eagles' "Hotel California" isn't based on any particular place, the building that stands in for it on the cover of the 1976 album is the Beverly Hills Hotel. Ironically, the band used the photo without the Beverly Hills Hotel's permission. In an interview with Rolling Stone, the album's art director, Kosh (a.k.a. John Kosh), recalled, "As the sales of Hotel California went through the roof, lawyers for the Beverly Hills Hotel threatened me with a 'cease and desist' action until it was gently pointed out by my attorney that the hotel's requests for bookings had tripled since the release of the album."