Hard Rock Cafe filed a trademark infringement complaint on Thursday asking the Florida Southern District to halt Hard Rock Hemp’s use of its name which they claimed infringed on its trademark and award the restaurant company damages due to its name being associated with the defendant.
The plaintiff, Hard Rock Cafe International (USA) Inc., alleged that the South Carolina-based hemp company and its owner Myra Chapman used the phrase “hard rock” in order to capitalize on the plaintiffs’ fame for its financial benefit.
According to the complaint, Hard Rock Cafe operates “restaurants, hotels, resorts, casinos, and live entertainment venues” throughout the world, in at least 70 countries. The plaintiff explained that it spends a significant amount of money on advertising and promoting its brand and services, including through social media and on the internet. The company alleged that it “has been one of the most iconic and famous brands in the word,” for 50 years since it’s first restaurant opened in 1971.
To protect its branding and interests, Hard Rock Cafe has over 2,000 trademarks, some of which are international, covering its restaurants, websites, logo and other variations of “Hard Rock.” In addition to owning these trademarks, the plaintiff noted that it has used them for decades and created goodwill with consumers based on its continuous and exclusive use.
Hard Rock Cafe, however, reported that the defendant sells CBD-based products on a website under the name Hard Rock Hemp, the defendant also allegedly promotes music venues and a collection of music memorabilia. The complaint alleged that the goods and services produced by the defendant are similar to those offered by the plaintiff at spas and gift shops, and could cause confusion. The plaintiff alleged that Hard Rock Hemp’s “promotion of music and artists also come within the scope of Hard Rock’s business and reputation,” and could cause additional confusion for consumers.
The complaint included counts of trademark infringement, false designation of origin, unfair competition, trademark dilution, and violations of Florida trade and anti-dilution laws. Hard Rock Cafe asked the court for a permanent injunction, various damage awards, and for Hard Rock Hemp to be required to destroy materials using the plaintiff’s trademark.
The plaintiff is represented by Carlson & Associates P.A.