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MORTON, HARD ROCK CAFE PARTNERS FILE SECOND SUIT AGAINST PLANET HOLLYWOOD

 MORTON, HARD ROCK CAFE PARTNERS
 FILE SECOND SUIT AGAINST PLANET HOLLYWOOD
 LOS ANGELES, March 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Peter Morton and investors owning Hard Rock Cafes in Los Angeles and San Diego Friday filed a second lawsuit against the owners of Planet Hollywood and their California partners, seeking over $200 million in damages and injunctive relief for illegally copying Hard Rock's entertainment and music themed restaurants in a planned Planet Hollywood cafe in Orange County, Calif.
 The suit, filed on Friday, Feb. 28, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, sets forth new charges of infringing on and diluting trademarks, stealing trade secrets, engaging in unfair competition and trying to block construction of a Hard Rock Cafe in Newport Beach, Calif.
 Morton and affiliated investors earlier this year sued Planet Hollywood, the Rank Organization, PLC, a British corporation which owns the rights to Hard Rock Cafes in the Eastern United States and Europe, and others for allegedly conspiring to coerce the Morton group into selling their Hard Rock interests at below-market prices. That suit, filed under the anti-trust laws, asked for damages of more than $1 billion.
 As was the case in the earlier complaint, the present suit names Robert Earl, a Rank officer, and CEO of both Rank's Hard Rock organization and Planet Hollywood. Additionally, the latest complaint names Keith Barish, chairman of the board of Planet Hollywood, and Frank di Bella and Antonio Cagnolo, both identified as officers and part owners of Planet Hollywood's California partners, as the defendants.
 Morton alleges that Planet Hollywood has infringed upon the trademarked distinctive features of the Hard Rock Cafes. This suit also alleges that various operating strategies, practices and trade secrets have been "fraudulently and in bad faith, maliciously and oppressively," misappropriated by Planet Hollywood.
 Morton and his associates further charge that the defendants initiated negotiations to put a Planet Hollywood Cafe in the exact location in South Coast Plaza Shopping Center, Newport Beach, Calif., where the Morton group already negotiated to open a Hard Rock Cafe. This action was undertaken, the suit charged, "solely for the purpose of delaying, obstructing and, if possible, destroying" Morton's efforts to put a Hard Rock Cafe on the site.
 In addition, this suit seeks to have the Planet Hollywood entities enjoined from building or operating a Planet Hollywood cafe in the Morton territory, or those states west of the Mississippi.
 -0- 3/3/92
 /CONTACT: Jeremy Weithas of Kekst & Co., 212-593-2655, for Peter Morton/ CO: Hard Rock Cafe; Planet Hollywood ST: California IN: LEI SU:


CK -- NY052 -- 4495 03/03/92 12:51 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 3, 1992
Words:432
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