FMR LLC et al/ v Omni Hotels Management Corp et a. (18-cv-11055).

FMR and Seaport Hotel Limited Partnership, collectively identified as “Fidelity,” filed suit against Omni Hotel and several other entities involved with construction of a new Boston waterfront hotel.  Fidelity opened the Seaport Hotel twenty years ago, at a time when the south Boston waterfront consisted of little beyond parking lots, empty buildings and seafood shacks – I recall staying there when it first opened, and how little there was around.  The hotel is located just down the street from the John Joseph Moakley Federal Courthouse, which opened in 1999, and the World Trade Center, built in the mid-80’s.  The hotel has been named one of the greatest in America by Forbes, and has received numerous awards.  The waterfront has since seen phenomenal levels of growth, in office space, apartment buildings, restaurants and the like, with the Seaport Hotel serving as a cornerstone – the complaint suggests that the “Seaport District,” as the area became known, took this moniker from the Seaport Hotel.  Recently, Omni Hotel announced plans to build a hotel a block away from the Seaport Hotel, with an announced name of “Omni Boston Seaport Hotel.”  Fidelity contends that this mark is confusingly similar to their incontestable SEAPORT HOTEL and SEAPORT trademarks, and could only have been chosen to trade upon the fame, reputation and good will that resides in its mark.  Fidelity believes that the Omni name will suggest that Omni bought the Seaport Hotel, much in the way Omni renamed the “Parker House” as the “Omni Parker House” when it was acquired.  In addition to trademark infringement, Fidelity brings claims for unfair competition and dilution, and seeks preliminary and permanent injunctive relief, monetary damages, and fees and costs.

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