Cipriani London, the Mayfair restaurant and celebrity haunt, will have to change its name after losing a trademark battle with the owners of the Hotel Cipriani in Venice.
The London Court of Appeal rejected Cipriani International's case against the Orient-Express Group, which owns the Venetian landmark hotel, upholding a 2008 ruling by the High Court.
The decision means that, in effect, Arrigo and Giuseppe Cipriani, the son and grandson of the founder of the Hotel Cipriani, have been barred from using their own name on restaurants in the UK.
Arrigo's father opened Hotel Cipriani in 1958 on the island of Giudecca, but the family sold its stake more than 40 years ago. The property has been in the hands of the Orient-Express Group since 1976, which owns a number of luxury hotels including Le Manoir Quat' Saisons in Oxfordshire.
"Here, the proposed use of the name Cipriani (with or without London) for the restaurant was an infringement of the clearest kind," the court ruled.
The restaurant was ordered to change its name to one that doesn't infringe the Cipriani trademark, to publicise the judgment on its menus and elsewhere, and to pay damages to Hotel Cipriani.
Paul White, Orient-Express president and chief executive officer, commented on the decision: "Orient-Express Hotels has worked long and hard over many years to build a worldwide reputation for Hotel Cipriani. We are entitled to protect this famous name in Europe and it was important to us to do so."
The Cipriani family added that it was disappointed with the ruling. "While we are considering avenues of appeal to the Supreme Court, we are also exploring other potential names for the London restaurant," the family said.
Catering company loses ‘what's-in-a-name' legal battle >>
By Kerstin Kühn
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