Dorpan, S.L. v. Hotel Melia, Inc.

Defendant, Hotel Melia, Inc., operated the Hotel Melia in Ponce, Puerto Rico since at least the 1890s. Defendant, however, never registered the mark "Melia" with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Plaintiff held several registered marks using the name "Melia" since the late 1990s. In 2007, Plaintiff's parent company opened a hotel called "Gran Melia" approximately eighty miles from Ponce. Plaintiff filed a petition seeking to register the mark "Gran Melia." Defendant opposed Plaintiff's registration petition. Plaintiff then filed a complaint against Defendant, seeking a declaration that Plaintiff had the right to use the mark Melia throughout Puerto Rico. The district court entered summary judgment for Plaintiff, concluding that, with the exception of the city of Ponce, Plaintiff was entitled to exclusive use of the Melia mark throughout Puerto Rico. The First Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the district court's entry of summary judgment, holding that a reasonable factfinder could conclude that the Hotel Melia and Gran Melia marks cannot co-exist in Puerto Rico without creating an impermissible likelihood of confusion among reasonable consumers. Remanded. View "Dorpan, S.L. v. Hotel Melia, Inc." on Justia Law