Liverpool’s Cavern Club is taking the Hard Rock Cafe to court over the rights to the Cavern name in North America.
BBC News reports that in 2011 an application by the UK’s Cavern City Tours to cancel the Hard Rock Cafe’s trademark to the name – which they purchased in 1994 before opening their own Cavern Club in Boston – was rejected. Cavern City Tours, who own the Liverpool club, are now taking the case to federal court in Orlando, Florida, which is where the Hard Rock company is based. Cavern City Tours’ lawyer Paul Rapp has called the new action “basically an appeal”.
The trial will take place later this year, with both sides submitting motions to the court next month. Dave Jones of the Cavern Club has said: “If this dispute is not put right, perhaps in some decades time kids might be confused into believing that the four lads who actually changed the world from a cellar bar in Liverpool instead started out at a Hard Rock. And that would be a travesty of history and a tragedy for music heritage.”
The original Cavern Club is seen as the home of The Beatles, who played hundreds of shows at the venue in the 1960s. The venue closed in 1973, but in 1984 a replica was built on the same site. In 2003 Cavern City Tours said they were planning to open Cavern themed venues across Europe and North America.