Intercontinental Addis Rebrands Following Court Defeat

May 8 , 2021

After eight years of a legal dispute with the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG), Intercontinental Addis has finally given in and changed its brand name to Inter Luxury Hotel as of last week. The Intercontinental Hotels Corporation (IHG), which owns notable brands including Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn, and Intercontinental Hotels and Resorts, first sued JH Simex and Simachew Kebede for copyright infringement and unlawful enrichment by way of copying one of their brand names. The Federal High Court ruled in favour of the defendants, denying the international group the right to be represented as a business without a license from the country’s authorised body, and closed the case. The Supreme Court, upon appeal, reversed the High Court’s ruling in February 2014 and sent the case back. In June 2019, the High Court gave a final verdict against JH Simex and ordered that the local firm, which has been operating for about 13 years, stop using the trade name "Intercontinental Addis." It also ordered the firm to pay 750,000 Br in royalty compensation to the US hospitality business operator.


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