Six Continents Hotels, Inc. and Six Continents Limited v. Independent Hotel Group, Civil Action 1:22-cv-04088-SCJ (N.D. Ga., Oct. 12, 2022)
What’s in a name? That is the question at heart of a travel and hospitality industry dispute.
The plaintiffs have operated as “IHG” for years. Their global portfolio includes such brands as Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza, and IHG operates more than 6,000 properties in 100-plus countries. The company has taken aim at an online travel agency, Independent Hotel Group, which is using the initials “IHG” in its marketing. The plaintiffs claim that the agency’s website makes it seem as though Independent Hotel Group is affiliated with the more well-known IHG.
The plaintiffs write in the complaint, “Yet, of the nearly infinite non-infringing names and marks available to it, travel agency Independent Hotel Group (‘Defendant IHG’) decided to do business under the ‘IHG’ name and mark to pass off its hotel brokering and booking services as IHG.”
The plaintiffs are seeing statutory and punitive damages for trademark infringement, as well as an order barring the defendants from using the “IHG” name in any way.