Mexico’s Hotel California Owners Reject the Eagles’ Trademark Claims

The owners of a Mexican hotel using the name Hotel California on Wednesday said a trademark infringement lawsuit by the Eagles, whose song “Hotel California” is arguably the band’s most famous, should be dismissed.

Hotel California Baja LLC, which runs the Todos Santos hotel in Baja California Sur, said the band long ago waived its trademark rights, having waited four decades to assert them since releasing the song “Hotel California” on a 1976 album with the same name.

The owner said it “flatly denies” the Eagles’ “baseless contention” that the 11-room hotel seeks to mislead travelers into thinking the property is associated with the band.

“Any alleged use of plaintiff’s trademarks is not likely to cause confusion, deception or mistake as to association, connection, sponsorship, endorsement, or approval of plaintiff,” the owner said in a filing in Los Angeles federal court.

Lawyers for the Eagles were not immediately available for comment.

In their May 1 lawsuit, the Eagles said the defendant encourages guests to believe their hotel is associated with the band, including piping its music through a sound system, to sell T-shirts and other merchandise.

The hotel is located about 1,000 miles (1,609 km) south of San Diego and 48 miles (77 km) north of Cabo San Lucas.

It was named Hotel California at its 1950 opening, underwent some name changes, and later revived the original name after a Canadian couple, John and Debbie Stewart, bought it in 2001.

U.S. District Judge Gary Klausner scheduled a conference in the case for Aug. 21.

The album “Hotel California,” won the 1977 Grammy Award for record of the year.

The case is Eagles Ltd v Hotel California Baja LLC et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 17-03276.

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Spelling Aces Advance Toward $40K Prize

Some contestants traced letters on their palms, while other word whizzes in the Scripps National Spelling Bee searched the ceiling for inspiration on Wednesday as they edged closer to the $40,000 top prize.

The youngest-ever competitor, Edith Fuller, who turned 6 on April 22, was among the 259 youths still spelling at midday from a starting field of 291.

“It feels really exciting,” Fuller, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, told reporters who asked what it was like to be the youngest speller at the 90th national bee.

Wearing a navy blue dress with a black bow in her wavy blond hair, Fuller said she planned to compete again next year “if I don’t win this time.”

Her mother said she quizzed her daughter on words up to five times a day but limited each session to 20 minutes.

“She does all the work in her mind,” said Annie Fuller, who home-schools her daughter. “The spelling did come as a surprise because we never explicitly tried to teach our children spelling.”

Before the lunch break on Wednesday, Edith Fuller successfully spelled the word nyctinasty, which describes the movement of plants, causing the crowd at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center to burst into applause.

Others who also moved on to the next round at the Washington-area resort correctly spelled words such as gneiss, brachiopods and dactylology, while some struck out on the words quokka and toile.

The competition for the spelling specialists, ages 6 to 15, concludes with finals Thursday.

More than 11 million youths competed in earlier spelling bees in all 50 U.S. states, U.S. territories from Puerto Rico to Guam, and several nations, from Jamaica to Japan, contest officials said.

New rules this year are aimed at preventing tie endings like last year’s, when joint winners both got $40,000 cash prizes.

Bee officials will administer a Tiebreaker Test to all spellers in the competition at 6 p.m. (2200 GMT) Thursday. It will consist of 12 spelling words, which contestants will handwrite, and 12 multiple-choice vocabulary questions.

If it is mathematically impossible for one champion to emerge through 25 rounds, officials will declare the speller with the highest tiebreaker score the winner. If there is a tie on the test, judges will declare co-champions.

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Aerosmith’s Nearing 50 Years But Plans to ‘Keep Going’

Aerosmith may be approaching its 50th anniversary, but its members say the band’s not going anywhere.

 

Frontman Steven Tyler and Joe Perry both say the band will keep playing. That’s despite the title of their tour, ‘Aero-Vederci Baby!’ — which seems to play on “arrivederci,” Italian for “goodbye till we meet again.”

 

That appeared to hint it could be a farewell tour for the band after their run of dates in Europe.

 

“From my point of view, I think that we are going to keep going,” Perry said, adding he wanted to see Aerosmith remaining “pretty active over the next few years.”

 

Tyler joked that they simply couldn’t think of another name for the tour and added that “as long as the band is playing the way it is right now, it is going to be for a long time.”

 

Tyler also has joked that he’s taken up smoking.

 

“I started smoking on this tour because the band sounds so good I have to do something wrong,” he said in an interview last week ahead of the band’s Munich date.

 

For now, Perry is looking forward to playing Download Festival in Donington in the U.K. on June 11.

“It is kind of like playing Madison Square Garden in New York City,” he said, adding that “you’ve got to bring your A-game.”

 

Next stop for the tour is Friday in Krakow, Poland.

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European Commission Chief Upbraids Trump on Climate Stance

The European Commission president on Wednesday said that it was the “duty of Europe” to stand up to the U.S. if President Donald Trump decided to pull his country out of the Paris climate change accord.

Jean-Claude Juncker said that “the Americans can’t just get out of the agreement,” adding that “it takes three to four years” to pull out.

Juncker went on to say that the Group of Seven leaders “tried to explain this in clear, simple sentences to Mr. Trump” at a recent summit in Italy. He said that even though “it looks like that attempt failed” … the “law is the law.”

In a gibe at the U.S. administration, Juncker told the audience at an event of the Confederation of German Employers in Berlin that “not everything that is written in international agreements is fake news.”

Juncker said: “If the U.S. president pulls out of the Paris agreement, and he will in the next days or hours, then it is Europe’s duty to say that that is not how it works.”

A White House official said earlier in the day that Trump was planning to pull out of the Paris deal, although a final decision hadn’t been made.

Trump on Wednesday declared that abandoning the Paris climate agreement would be a victory for the American economy.

The European Union and China, meanwhile, will reaffirm their commitment to the climate accord this week regardless of whether the U.S. pulls out of the pact, a senior EU official said.

Talks on Friday

The official told reporters that the EU and China will also “spell out” how they plan to meet their commitments to the landmark international accord to fight global warming at talks in Brussels on Friday.

The official is involved in preparing the meeting between EU Council President Donald Tusk, Juncker and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, but can’t speak on the record because their meeting statement wasn’t finalized. Li and a major Chinese delegation are due to arrive in Brussels late Thursday following talks in Berlin.

“The EU and China are joining forces to forge ahead on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the global transition to clean energy,” EU climate commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said about the upcoming EU-China summit, stressing they remain committed to Paris.

A White House official said Wednesday that there could be “caveats in the language” announcing a withdrawal, leaving open the possibility that Trump’s decision isn’t final.

That possibility was met with derisive howls from EU lawmakers when a session of the European Parliament was informed about it.

“Climate change is not a fairy tale. It is a tough reality which affects people’s daily lives,” European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said in a statement. “People die or are obliged to leave their homes because of desertification, lack of water, exposure to disease, extreme weather conditions. If we don’t act swiftly and boldly, the huge human and economic cost will continue to increase.”

Tajani suggested that Washington’s withdrawal should be a signal for Europe to step up its efforts — and reap the benefits.

“Our climate action strategy represents an opportunity to attract investment, innovation and develop new green technologies,” he said. “We have got the talent and the will to make this possible in all sectors.”

Offsetting action

Tajani said earlier he would confer with Tusk and Juncker about “joint initiatives to be adopted together as a European Union” to offset the decision.

The EU official involved in organizing the EU-China meeting said it would  “send important signals for the multinational system,” as Trump moves to alter or abandon some of the international trade agreements the U.S. has signed.

Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists advocacy group, said, “I don’t think any other countries will follow the U.S. out of Paris, so if he does leave, Trump will be in splendid isolation with the leaders of Syria and Nicaragua.”

In Madrid, the leaders of India and Spain expressed their commitment to fighting climate change and reiterated their support for implanting the Kyoto and Paris accords.

In a joint statement issued following talks in the Spanish capital between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy, the two countries said taking action on climate change was a priority for both nations.

On Tuesday, Modi said in Berlin that it would be a “crime” to spoil the environment for future generations as the world awaits a decision on U.S. climate policy.

Rajoy and Modi agreed to boost bilateral cooperation in combating climate change.

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Tiger Wood’s Image Takes Hit But Sponsors Stay Put

The marketability of Tiger Woods will suffer following his arrest for driving under the influence, but the former world number one golfer’s current sponsors will likely stay by his side, according to experts.

Woods, who had surgery in April to relieve back pain, blamed the incident on prescription drugs, but that was not enough to keep his droopy-eyed mug shot from being etched in the minds of many who were once captivated by his dominance on the course.

Still, despite his struggles on and off the course, Woods is the greatest golfer of his generation and sponsors like Nike, Bridgestone Golf, Monster Energy and TaylorMade are not likely to rush and cut ties with him, marketing experts told Reuters.

“They have to be very measured in terms of their response to their relation with him,” said David Carter, professor of sports business at the University of Southern California’s Marshal School of Business.

“He may not be delivering value but you could also be doing harm to your own brand if you cut and run on a guy with such global notoriety.”

Has barely played in recent years

Woods is second on the all-time list with 14 major titles but a player whose famous fist pump and beaming smile were once a regular site on the PGA Tour has lost his form and barely played in recent years.

Most of his sponsors, when asked by Reuters if they would review their agreements with Woods in light of Monday’s DUI arrest, either did not respond to requests for comment or said it was inappropriate to do so at this time.

Bridgestone Golf, however, said they “will continue to monitor this situation and gather information from the appropriate sources investigating the matter.”

But details of the arrest report which stated, among other things, that Woods was asleep at the wheel of a parked car with the engine running and was disoriented when woken up by a police officer, cannot be sitting well with sponsors.

Sidelined with back injury

And with Woods expected to miss the rest of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season after back surgery, his level of appeal to companies may be at an all-time low.

“You can overcome a DUI if you are a big enough star and you keep winning,” said Bob Dorfman, creative director of Baker Street Advertising in San Francisco.

“But you can’t overcome not being on the course for months, not winning championships and being pretty much a non entity in the golf world. And that’s what Tiger has become and the prospects don’t look very promising for him.”

This is not the first time Woods has made headlines away from the course. In 2009, a sex scandal turned his previously unblemished life and career upside down.

It also cost Woods a number of endorsement deals, while other sponsors shifted away from using him in marketing but did not end their contracts with him.

‘He has less chips to play with’

Woods could see a similar reaction this time around.

“He’s not playing, he’s not winning and so he has less chips to play with, if you will, in the endorsement game so that clearly makes it even more difficult for him,” said George Belch, marketing professor at San Diego State University.

“But you are still talking about an extremely high profile athlete here who transcended sports in many ways even if his baggage has clearly gotten bigger through the years.”

While the arrest report showed Woods had no alcohol in his system, results of a urine test that have not been released will go a long way in determining Woods’ marketability.

Tell the truth

Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College in Massachusetts, said sponsors will likely cut ties with Woods should the results show he was lying.

“The main issue is whether Tiger’s story is accurate. If indeed he is taking multiple medicines and they interacted with each other and knocked him out and he didn’t anticipate it then I think he fully recovers,” said Zimbalist.

“Another part of his ability to rebound and what happens to his legacy is going to be determined by how he comes back as a golfer and nobody knows the answer to that, probably not even Tiger himself.”

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US EPA Halts Methane Rule for Oil and Gas Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday halted methane emission standards for oil and gas companies in its latest move to unwind Obama administration climate change rules, amid reports that the United States will withdraw from a global climate change agreement.

The agency issued a 90-day stay of the 2016 New Source Performance Standards for the oil and gas industry, which require companies to capture fugitive emissions, obtain engineer certifications and install leak detention devices while it reconsiders the rule.

The rule, completed last year under former President Barack Obama, was due to go into effect on June 3.

The EPA said it expects to prepare a proposed rule and launch a public comment period after the stay.

Environmental groups vowed on Wednesday to block the EPA move in court.

“The Trump administration is giving its friends in the oil and gas industry a free pass to continue polluting our air,” said David Doniger, director of the climate and clean air program at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “We will fight Trump’s latest polluter giveaway in court.”

The Environmental Defense Fund also said it would sue the EPA to block a rollback of the rule.

Methane is the second most prevalent greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide. Methane lasts in the atmosphere for 20 years, and is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping heat.

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