BALTIMORE — A federal judge Friday barred Quality Inns International from using "McSleep" as the name for a budget hotel chain, saying the move was a deliberate attempt to "benefit by the good will and reputation" of the McDonald's fast-food chain.
U.S. District Judge Paul Niemeyer, in a 65-page opinion, said the "Mc" prefix would cause consumers to associate the budget motel chain with the fast-food operation.
"Therefore, the court will find trademark infringement, unfair competition and dilution," Niemeyer wrote, adding that the court "will enter a permanent injunction in this case."
In September, 1987, Quality Inns, a Silver Spring, Md.-based firm and the nation's third-largest hotel franchiser, announced a new chain of economy hotels to be marketed under the name McSleep Inn.
The firm said it spent $404 million on advertising last year for the new operation, and hoped to franchise as many as 200 inns by 1991.