*As Editor of this website, let me preface this article by stating that the below article is based on an opinion – an opinion, however, that has been formulated based on factual information acquired through the public court system. With a little old-school reporting and digging, one can easily uncover the same details on this subject, just as the author of this article has.* – J.S.
As we all know, mega-club Space New York was slated to open on Wednesday November 27, 2013. Clearly that did not happen, but Space has been mum on the whole situation, giving us absolutely no details on why they have missed their opening date. In my quest to understand who the major players were, I found Eden Ballroom, LLC, the North American management company that will own/operate Space New York. I also found a court filing in the Southern District Court of New York, the local federal court for the southern New York Region. Club Space, LLC, the ownership group of Club Space in Miami, Florida, is suing Eden Ballroom, LLC; and Space Ibiza Planet S.L., for Trademark infringement regarding the following marks: Space Dance, Space Dance Chicago, Space Dance New York, Space Dance Miami and Space Dance Las Vegas (yes, this indicates that Space will attempt to open clubs in those major US cities).
Club Space, which has operated exclusively out of Miami since 2000, Claims Space Ibiza not only gained rights to a trademarks that imitate their own, but also misrepresented their filing for said trademarks, violating several sections of Trademark law under the Lanham Act. Space New York is also accused of violating unfair competition laws of New York State. This has led Club Space Management, LLC to file an injunction against the use of any of the aforementioned trademarks, as well as any operation out of the club in New York. There has been no ruling on the injunction as of yet, which is one of the primary reasons why Space New York cannot open; the other being that construction at 637 West 5oth Street is not yet completed. If the injunction is dismissed, then Space New York Will be able to open (at some point) assuming they have completed construction and passed all inspections. However, if the motion for injunction is granted, Space will not be able to operate until the civil lawsuit is dismissed, ruled on, or settled out of court.
The question is how strong Club Space Management’s claim is. In my opinion the whole lawsuit depends on whether or not Eden Ballroom, LLC and Space Ibiza filed for, and received, the trademark rights based on false and misrepresenting information. Club Space maintains that Space Ibiza misrepresented the fact that they have been engaged in commerce in the United States using the Space Trademark. This definition would include marketing – and Space Ibiza has been marketing in the United States for years now, using the operative word ‘Space‘, trying to attract new consumers from the America’s to go to the Space Ibiza Club. In my opinion, Club Space is making a last minute effort to keep the door open for expansion into other cities, which would not be possible if another club named Space, one with more history and allure, were already in those cities.
The lawsuit is still ongoing and in the early stages of development. It could end as early as late December or drag on for many months into 2014. Of course, Space New York could still open their doors regardless if they are in violation of any legal reforms. It all depends on the injunction hearing and the validity of the trademark infringement claims. You can obtain all case documents by purchasing them at rfcexpress.com or by visiting the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, located at 500 Pearl Street, New York, NY 10007-1312.
Written by: Rich Bennis