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The Restaurant Cipriani London Will have to Change its Name; High Court
Rules the Use of the Cipriani Name Infringed the Orient-Express Trademark
for the Hotel Cipriani in Venice

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London, December 9, 2008 - Hotel Cipriani, the world famous hotel in Venice which is part of Orient-Express Hotels Ltd (http://www.orient-express.com), has been successful in an action before His Honour Mr Justice Arnold in the High Court in London for trade mark infringement and passing off in respect of the mark 'Cipriani' for restaurant services, against the operators of the restaurant Cipriani London.

Hotel Cipriani is the proprietor of Community Trade Mark 115824, filed in April 1996, for the mark 'Cipriani' used, among other things, in connection with hotels and restaurants. In a lengthy and comprehensive judgment, the Court found that Cipriani (Grosvenor Street) Ltd, Cipriani International SA of Luxembourg, companies controlled by the Cipriani family including Arrigo and Giuseppe Cipriani, and Giuseppe Cipriani personally, were all liable for breach of Hotel Cipriani's Community Trade Mark under Community and English Law and were also liable for passing off. The judge further found that the Defendants' use of the name 'Cipriani' "was not in accordance with honest practices in industrial and commercial matters" and that the Hotel's UK and Community Trade Marks were valid.

As a result of the judgment, Hotel Cipriani is entitled to an injunction preventing the Defendants from carrying on a restaurant business in the UK using the names 'Cipriani' and 'Cipriani London'. In addition to stopping the use of such names, Hotel Cipriani will now seek damages and costs from the Defendants.

Commenting on the judgement, Paul White, President and Chief Executive Officer of Orient-Express Hotels, said, "We are obviously very pleased that this action has been successful. This company has worked long and hard over many years to build a worldwide reputation for Hotel Cipriani, substantiated by the many awards and accolades the hotel and its restaurants win each year. We are entitled to protect this famous name in Europe and it was important to us to do so. 'Cipriani' is one of the many valuable brands owned by the Company and it is our intention to maintain such value by taking the appropriate action in any part of the world when others seek to encroach upon them."

Note to Editors:

Hotel Cipriani was built in 1958 by Lord Iveagh of the Guinness family in collaboration with Giuseppe Cipriani senior, a restaurateur and owner of the famous Harry's Bar in Venice. In 1967, Giuseppe Cipriani senior sold his entire interest in the company which owned Hotel Cipriani (Hotel Cipriani SRL) and agreed that company and the Hotel Villa Cipriani (also at that time owned by the Guinness family) would have the exclusive right to use the name 'Cipriani'. An exception was made for the business which became Locanda Cipriani on Torcello island.

In 1976, the company Hotel Cipriani SRL was purchased by one of the companies of the Sea Containers Group, later becoming part of Orient-Express Hotels. Hotel Cipriani had been in decline for many years prior to 1976 but after that date, benefited from massive investment from its new owners. It expanded hugely, creating two new restaurants, conference and banqueting facilities and restoring the gardens.

Long before 1996, when Hotel Cipriani SRL filed for the trademark, Hotel Cipriani was generally recognised as one of the world's leading hotels, winning awards and welcoming celebrities, crowned heads of Europe and political leaders among its many loyal guests. The hotel's restaurants have always been a fundamental part of the hotel offering and contributed to its reputation, winning their own accolades for food quality, service and ambience.

The legal team acting on behalf of the Company consisted of Solicitors Walker Morris, Ian Purvis and Benet Brandreth of Counsel and the Company's in-house legal department.

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Contact:

Orient Express Hotels Ltd
http://www.orient-express.com

 

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Also See: Giuseppe Cipriani Redeveloping the Shuttered Saxony Hotel in Miami Beach; Will be Transformed into170-room Cipriani Resort and Residences South Beach / June 2006
Orient-Expressí Hotel Cipriani Purchases Historic Buildings In Venice With Plans to Extend Hotel / Nov 2000
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