Universal sues Merlin over Orlando retail project
Written by Robert Niles
It's Universal versus Merlin in the theme park industry's latest legal battle.Tweet
Universal is suing Merlin Entertainments, along with Merlin's partners Circle Entertainment and Unicorp, over the trio's planned I-Walk development on International Drive. Slated for a 2013 opening, the project would include a 425-foot observation wheel, similar to the famous London Eye.
Universal claims that the I-Walk name infringes on its "CityWalk" trademark. Both are similar retail/dining projects that would stand less than three miles away from one another. Universal claims in its lawsuit the similar names would cause confusion among the public and hurt Universal's CityWalk.
Of course, if you've been paying close attention, you'll also note that this suit represents one arm of Blackstone suing another, since Blackstone remains a half-owner of Universal Orlando, as well as a major investor in Merlin Entertainments.
Blackstone is trying to cash out of Universal Orlando, though, and new NBCUniversal owner Comcast is said to be close to a decision on whether to buy out its partner, while would give it 100-percent control of Universal Orlando.
My guess? I-Walk changes its name soon. What's your guess? And if I-Walk does change its name, what should it be?
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