Much ado about trademark infringement
The Public Theatre, the group responsible for the internationally acclaimed “Shakespeare in the Park” theatre productions held each summer in Manhattan’s Central Park, has filed a claim in the Southern District of New York against a hotelier in the city.
The complaint is made against Ian Schrager and his hotel PUBLIC. It relates to The Public Theatre’s trade marks for “Public”, “The Public”, and “Joe’s Pub” registered in respect of entertainment services including live theatre and cabaret, workshops, and classes. PUBLIC (the hotel) is also home to a nightclub “Public Arts” and hosts live musical and stage productions.
The Public Theatre says that it notified Mr Schrager in September 2017 that his actions were an infringement of the ‘Public’ mark, but that the matter has not been resolved. In the complaint the company goes on to state that this makes Mr Schrager’s infringement wilful, deliberate, and calculated, and seeks its remedies against him personally as well as from his hotel.
It will be interesting to see how this case progresses, especially as The Public Theatre enjoys such a widespread reputation and has significant prestige attached to its name.
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