A jury in federal court ruled in favor of The Brunswick Inn’s trademark infringement lawsuit Wednesday against cross-Maine Street rival The Inn at Brunswick Station.

Eileen and James Hornor, owners of The Brunswick Inn, alleged that the larger, newer Maine Street hotel’s name was so similar to that of the smaller Park Row lodging that it caused confusion among guests, advertisers, vendors and occasionally even emergency personnel.

After hearing three days of testimony, jurors agreed, and awarded the Hornors $10,000 in monetary damages.

Additionally, the Inn at Brunswick Station will have to change its name.

What the new name will be has yet to be determined, said Portland attorney James Goggin, who represented the Hornors, but he added “that will have to be worked out with the court.” 

Testimony in the intellectual property case began Dec. 16 and concluded at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 18, when U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Torreson handed the case to the jury for deliberation.
Jurors returned with their verdict at 5 p.m.

Jurors determined that The Brunswick Inn had “acquired distinctiveness” and “was entitled to trademark protection under that name,” Goggin said.

Personal testimony, profit-and-loss statements, stories from regional periodicals and The Times Record were cited as evidence in the lawsuit’s presentation.

Massachusetts-based parent company JHR Development Inc. opened the Inn at Brunswick Station in 2011 as part of a large commercial retail complex built atop the site of the former Maine Street Station train platform. Witnesses for The Brunswick Inn, including Eileen Hornor who took the stand on Monday, testified that since that time, the smaller business has lost money due to confusion regarding the similarity of the business’s names.

Attempts Thursday by The Times Record to contact Boston attorney Frank Gaeta, counsel to JHR Development Inc., and spokespersons from The Inn at Brunswick Station were not immediately successful.


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