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Robert Niles

Universal sues Merlin over Orlando retail project

Published: May 5, 2011 at 9:06 AM

It's Universal versus Merlin in the theme park industry's latest legal battle.

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?

Replies (12)

Terri Pierce

Published: May 5, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I'm surprised Apple isn't after them too. I figure anything starting with I was trademarked by now.

As for the actual question... I-See, I-C, I have no idea.

Published: May 5, 2011 at 9:44 AM

J-Walk of course...
Joshua Counsil

Published: May 5, 2011 at 10:57 AM

Instead of I-Walk, how about its past tense, I-Walked? Or I-Ran?


Jeff Elliott

Published: May 5, 2011 at 11:13 AM

How about Sheetee Wok?

Or Eye Wok?

Joseph Catlett

Published: May 5, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I think Universal has a real case here. To the average visitor I Walk and Citywalk sound so alike that you could easily assume they are one and the same entity.

Now as for the name, how about INTERNATIONAL PLAZA or MERLIN'S LANDING.

Sadly, from what's been presented I can tell you that once it opens the reaction coming from my wife and I as we drive off to Universal will be.."Oh, that's the new ferris wheel thingy they built like in London. I was wondering where exactly it was going to be. Want to stop and take a look. Nah, I want to get on Harry Potter. Maybe another time if we run out of things to do."

The whole project, to me, rings of tourist trap and nothing else.

Stephen Hicks

Published: May 5, 2011 at 2:43 PM

The Orlando Eye?
Anthony Murphy

Published: May 5, 2011 at 8:42 PM

I am not sure how I Walk is like City Walk.

Sooooo, can Disney then sue them all for copying Downtown Disney? LOL

Perhaps the Eyesore of I4? (I know its already taken!)

Published: May 5, 2011 at 10:01 PM

It was A Very nice Center

Published: May 6, 2011 at 2:15 AM

Seeing as Merlin is the 2nd Largest Entertainment company in the world (After Mickey of course) I don't think this will bother them. The London Eye is their most profitable attraction so it's understandable why they wish to pursue this.

As for this being a 'tourist trap' isn't that what Orlando is? Lets face it it, there wouldn't much there if it wasn't for the tourists..

Rob McCullough

Published: May 6, 2011 at 6:53 AM

This makes me laugh. I'll admit, I have not worked at UO for a few years and thing may have changed. Having said that, part of my old job was to do what we called "The Good Bye". I was a Ops Duty Mananger for almost 10 years, started when IOA was being built. Everynight the Duty Managers would meet at near the exit to say good night to departing guests. One questions I got at least everyday from a departing guest was, "How do we get to that City place (insert any of 1,000 incorrect names for CityWalk)?" I'd smile and say, "You've already been there. It's everythign between the parking buildings and the theme parks, and it's just beyond those turnstiles." They would look at me with an amazed face and wonder back out to CityWalk. So, I think it's a bit funny that UO is trying to protect a trademark that in my experience people don't understand in the first place.
TH Creative

Published: May 6, 2011 at 11:12 AM

I am guessing Merlin's new complex will have benches along the pathways meandering through shops, restaurants and attractions.

Thus, if I were Merlin I'd name the place "Sit & Walk."

Jack Curley

Published: May 6, 2011 at 2:46 PM

They should name it after my friend Chris, and split it up into north and south sections:

Christopher Walk S and Christopher Walk N

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