Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Can We Use Best Western in Cambodia?

Dear Rich: We are Australians and are taking over the management of a guesthouse in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We would like to call our guesthouse BEST WESTERN GUESTHOUSE because we want to attract the western visitors and volunteers who come to stay in Siem Reap. We are concerned, however, that there is an international hotel chain called Best Western Hotels and that they may try to stop us calling the guesthouse the name we want. We are thinking because it has the word "guesthouse" in the name, and the other has the word "hotel" that there should not be a problem. I have looked on business names register and I cannot find another Best Western Guesthouse. The Dear Rich Staff is fond of Australia, (having once worked at the now-defunct Farmer's Department store). So, we wish we had good news for you ... but our suggestion is to ditch the name. In case you're not aware Best Western has hotels in Vietnam and Cambodia. So, assuming the chain learns of your use, you'll be repainting your sign faster than you can say "cease and desist." As for the use of "guest house" instead of hotel, keep in mind that the company has registered the mark "Best Western" for hotel, motel and resort services. Modifying the words that precede or follow the mark will have little value, especially if you're competing in the same field. You should probably forget about Best Eastern as well.