Former HRP owners sue Freestyle for trademark and IP infringement

Posted Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:01 AM | Contributed by Jeff

The original owners of the former Hard Rock Park, which filed for bankruptcy in September, are suing the new owners for trademark infringement and unfair competition in a move that could put Saturday's reopening of the park in danger, according to one attorney. Steven Goodwin, the park's former CEO, and Jon Binkowski, its former chief creative officer, are asking for unspecified damages from a Delaware federal court because they allege the park's new owner, FPI MB Entertainment, has not done enough to rebrand and restyle the park.

Read more from The Sun News.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:07 AM

C'mon, even Six Flags didn't try this with CF when they purchased Geauga lake...

Considering how well HRP did by themselves, I'm quite sure Freestyle will wipe away all its crap like some biblical event.

Maybe they're worried that the new owners will sue them for advertsing HR brand without paying for it...

right....

Last edited by FLYINGSCOOTER, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:43 AM
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:09 AM

Goodwin and Binkowski are really showing themselves to be complete a**holes. They should quietly go away while they still have a modicum of dignity left.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:15 AM

This is a low move. I hope they get nothing.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:37 AM

Lame, but somewhat predictable. Why go away with dignity if they have a chance, however slim, to go away with some cash?

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 10:39 AM

The only thing specifically mentioned was an ice show... I hope there is more to it than that!

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:03 AM

"FPI MB Entertainment, has not done enough to rebrand and restyle the park". Guessing that Goodwin and Binkowski (here I am arguing THEIR side? What's wrong with me?) want every piece of backflash on every ride re-painted, and every show/pre-show rethemed away from the music that it as "highly distinctive and stylized themes and trade dress."

Those could be claimed as IP owned by FPI if the park is allowed to operate and use those themes. Theoretically, that could cause Goodwin and Binkowski trouble later on down the road when they convince new investors to sink $400M into a brand-new rock-n-roll theme park (Decades? from now).... ;)

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:05 AM
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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 11:39 AM

If you're an investor in the original park, and you essentially lost your money, how do you not raise a stink about this? If the IP was an asset related to the park, how was it not included in the bankruptcy proceedings? I would think that if they can't produce an agreement between this shell company and the former HRP (an agreement that would be between the owners and themselves), and money was moved around, it strikes me as a scam. I can't believe it's not illegal in some way.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:14 PM

Since when can you claim ownership over something you lost in bankruptcy? Something stinks here.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 1:45 PM

Also, from reading the article, it sounds like Goodwin is claiming the LAYOUT of the park is his IP (IMHO)...

What a scam....I hope the judge throws him out on his ass.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 2:35 PM

Funny how there's suddenly this company HRP Creative that owns all the intellectual property but wasn't responsible for any of the debts. So you want royalties on rides you "created" but someone else designed and manufactured and apparently weren't paid for.

If I were Universal, I would keep my distance from these shysters. You know any relationship you have with them will end in litigation. Maybe if they had marketed their brand properly last year, there would be no discussion today about re-branding and a new ownership.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:03 PM

I really wish those people would shut up and go away. Those people lost and the new company got the park at a helluva bargain.

Maybe when I filed bankruptcy I should've claimed I owned the landscaping and lay out of the house I lost. Then I could've sued the people who bought it out of forclosure if they didn't uproot some trees or remove the garage. Of course I am not that slimy.

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009 3:55 PM

Jeff, as an investor. I woulkdn't go after the new owners but after the Former CEO and his people that worked while HRP was planned and operated. IT's not the fault of the new owners that the two biggest clowns can't run an amusment park effectively.

Also the courts should throw out this suit since it was already addressed in the orginialy court of bankruptcy. The courts should punish Goodwin and Binkowski for bringing up such a trival lawsuit.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:31 AM

When these failures originally made their IP claim that caused the park to make all the changes they have made to date, I said they were just more greedy corporate a-holes thinking they are owed something even after failing miserably. I'd say this pretty much proves my point. Is it possible to counter sue someone for being a complete waste of space/air?

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 6:49 AM

Sour grapes, party of two.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 8:34 AM

This one has me baffled too---someone on the purchasing end screwed up royally in due diligence to have missed this shell company during the bankruptcy sale.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 8:56 AM

Word on the street is that a lot of people who lost their new, custom homes in foreclosure are waiting to see what happens with this case. For if HRP Creative wins this case, the jaded property-owners are going to file lawsuits against the individuals who bought the houses from the banks for design infringement. They feel it is not fair that they initially went through the process of designing the house and it is their intellectual property. It is not their fault that they could not afford the property after it was built or they decided to use their salaries elsewhere and not satisfying the mortgage agreement.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 9:40 AM

I love how they wanted them to rebrand everything when the sale went through in march. No offense, but trying to change something in two months time, when you acquire a property and rebrand everything probably is not going to happen in that short of a time.

A lawsuit only slows the process and costs them time and money if they ever do want to get things right at the park. That was a very predictable, but also a-hole move on their part.

It shows they want to keep their crediablility, when it was lost in horrible business transactions over the past few years.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009 5:25 PM

T Van I said that in my post but I was joking. If people are really doing it then it shows how low we have sunk as human beings.

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