I don’t have official confirmation yet but I hear there was a federal judge’s decision in that ongoing Friars Club of New York vs Beverly Hills trademark infringement lawsuit. An unofficial source tells me: “Friars Club of New York won, so that means Friars Club of Beverly Hills can not use the Friars name in any way, shape, or form”. The bicoastal rift (or is it roast?) has been between the 1904 non-profit New York Friars Club, located on 55th Street as a society for entertainers, and the Friars Club of Beverly Hills, begun as an annex in 1947 and then came under new ownership to be transformed into a for-profit venture. The two venues haven’t shared ties in eons but they did share names. According to news reports, the feud began shortly after the then financially strapped Beverly Hills Friars Club was purchased in 2004 by a young pharmaceutical heir. That’s when the New York Friars Club sued for trademark infringement in Federal District Court in Los Angeles over the use of the name “Friars”. But then a Los Angeles judge ruled that the New York group’s trademark violation against the name “Friars” was invalid. While the NY club has struggled as its members get greyer and lured younger members like Jerry Seinfeld and Howard Stern, the Beverly Hills site is still resting on its long ago laurels of late members like Milton Berle and Frank Sinatra. Ironically, the private club is now more vital than its ever been thanks to such marketing tools as an XBox game room and a cigar room and poker nights and other hip activities. It also planned a $10 mil renovation. But the NY Friars Club has history on its side.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.