Park Regis denied trademark here

Park Regis denied trademark here

Not only does Park Regis sound a lot like St Regis, it also could suggest that the two hotels are linked.

These are the reasons why a high-profile spat over the use of the word "Regis" ended last Friday with the Court of Appeal denying Park Regis the right to register its trademark here.

The ruling marks the first time that the Sydney-based StayWell Hospitality Group, which started with a Park Regis in Sydney in 1968 before expanding in Australia and abroad, has a decision against its mark.

According to intellectual property lawyer Wong Siew Hong, failure to register a trademark means its use could lead to a trademark infringement suit. "The practical effect is that Park Regis will have to cease using the name," he said.

StayWell's executive director and corporate counsel Richard Doyle pointed out on Sunday that the group did register a form of the Park Regis trademark here in 2010 without objection.

This trademark comprises the words Park Regis in English and Chinese next to each other, he said.

"StayWell is in the process of seeking legal advice relating to the court decision," he added, after expressing "extreme" disappointment at the decision.

He pointed out how the chain successfully overcame similar objections in Indonesia and Britain.

The case was sparked in 2008, when StayWell applied to register a trademark for Park Regis, the four-star hotel it opened in 2010 in Merchant Road, with the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.

But the application was opposed by US-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide together with its subsidiary Sheraton International, which owns St Regis.

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