The hotel said it would use the Web site hotelvetiver.com. But it said it was also keeping the Web site silvercuphotel.com. That address had become a sticking point in the hotel’s tussle with Silvercup Studios, a soundstage complex in a former bakery with a giant sign facing Manhattan.
Silvercup Studios filed a trademark infringement claim against the hotel in federal court in Brooklyn in December. The hotel said in its response that it had reached out to the studio and, eventually, to the studio’s law firm.
The two sides met late last year, and the hotel’s owner, Steven Bahar, said in court papers that he had been willing to change the hotel’s name “to avoid possible litigation.” He said that at one point, he had even offered Silvercup $20,000.
But he said that he never put the Web address silvercuphotel.com on the table and that Silvercup had rejected his offer. He said he was determined to keep the silvercuphotel.com address because travel sites on the Web were already listing that address.
As of Wednesday, the silvercuphotel.com address automatically redirects visitors to hotelvetiver.com. For guests and taxi drivers looking for the hotel the old-fashioned way once it opens next month, its street address is 29-11 39th Avenue.
The hotel’s new site contains a line similar to one on its old site: “Hotel Vetiver (formely SilverCup Hotel) is not operated or endorsed by or affiliated with Silvercup Studios.” But the hotel had not erased its SilverCup past: Clicking on the “reserve a room” tab on its site brought up a “check availability” screen with the words “SilverCup Hotel” at the top.
Vetiver, a grass found in India that can be distilled into an oil for aromatherapy, is easier to say than its scientific name, Chrysopogon zizanioides (pronounced krys-oh-POE-gon zye-zany-OY-deez, according to Margaret Falk, associate vice president for landscape gardens and living collections at the New York Botanical Garden).
But just as there are other Silvercups out there — Mr. Bahar pointed out in his court papers that the name is also used by a fish-feed company, a coffee company and a limousine service — there is at least one other Vetiver, a rootsy indie-rock band.
“We don’t really own the name,” said Liz Hart, the band’s manager. Referring to the newly renamed hotel, she added, “As long as they’re not going to be releasing competing product, it’s fine, I guess.”