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An AA four-star hotel in Oban has welcomed a legal ruling preventing a nearby establishment from using ‘Oban Bay’ in its brand.
The Oban Bay Hotel, which has a rich history dating back half a century and a strong reputation in the town, is owned and managed by Crerar Hotels. The group took legal action when a nearby two-star property changed its name from the ‘Regent Hotel’ to the ‘Muthu Hotel on Oban Bay’.
In a court hearing, evidence was presented on the reputation and goodwill built up over many years by the Oban Bay Hotel.
The court was satisfied that there was a case to answer; that members of the public had been led by the use of the words ‘Oban Bay’ into thinking that the former Regent Hotel is in some way associated with the Oban Bay Hotel/Crerar Hotels.
It granted an interim order preventing Oban Regent Management (registered at Belstead Brook Muthu Hotel, Ipswich) from using ‘on Oban Bay’, ‘the Oban Bay Hotel’ or any other name and sign comprising that phrase, such that it might cause confusion.
The decision was welcomed by Paddy Crerar CBE, chairman of Crerar Hotels. He said: ‘We pride ourselves on the AA four-star high quality experience offered at The Oban Bay Hotel and our sterling reputation which has been built up and established over many years.
‘It therefore concerned us greatly that members of the public – particularly those visiting Oban for the first time or using online reviews prior to booking – would likely be confused by the renaming of hotel of a lower grading, as the Muthu Regent is a self-graded two-star property.
‘The Muthu Regent is no doubt a very popular hotel and we wish them every success, we all need to do the best we can for our guests and that, in our view, is by firstly being clear and honest with how we bring our hotels to the attention of future guests.
‘We are pleased to see this was recognised in today’s ruling.’
A further hearing will take place at Oban Sheriff Court on Thursday July 29 by teleconference.