OCLC and Library Hotel Reach Out-of-Court Agreement

OCLC and Library Hotel Reach Out-of-Court Agreement

OCLC President and CEO Jay Jordan announced November 24 that an out-of-court settlement between the nonprofit library services organization in Ohio and the Library Hotel in New York City “permits the use of the Dewey Decimal Classification trademarks at the hotel and in the hotel’s marketing materials and acknowledges OCLC’s trademark rights.”

OCLC filed a trademark infringement complaint against the hotel in September. Under the settlement terms, the Library Hotel receives permission from OCLC to use the Dewey Decimal system in its facilities and marketing material in exchange for acknowledgment that OCLC is the owner of the Dewey trademark. The hotel has also promised to make a financial donation to Reading Is Fundamental; the amount was not disclosed.

Library Hotel owner Henry Kallan said, “We do not believe that our use of the Dewey trademarks in our beautiful boutique hotel near the New York Public Library infringes on OCLC’s Dewey trademarks, but acknowledging OCLC’s Dewey trademarks and making a charitable contribution to promote reading by children, rather than spending money litigating, seems to be a reasonable way to resolve this matter.”

Hotel spokesman Craig Spitzer told American Libraries that support for the hotel from librarians across the country helped lead to an amicable settlement. Both the hotel and OCLC were “inundated” with e-mail praising the hotel and urging an end to the squabble, he said.

Posted November 26, 2003.