Limelight Lawsuit

Former nightclub operator Peter Gatien has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court against the Dream Hotel Group and the Tao Group for stealing the name to his iconic New York ’90s club, Limelight.

Gatien was dubbed the “King of Clubs” in the ’80s and ’90s. Along with the Limelight, he owned the Tunnel, Palladium and Club USA. Limelight opened in 1983 at the site of a former Episcopal church in Chelsea and became a hot spot for club kids and notorious for its drug culture. In 1999, Gatien pleaded guilty to tax evasion and was deported to Canada, where he resides in Toronto.

In 2011, Gatien failed to renew his registered “Limelight” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. His lawyers claim “Gatien has always intended to use” the name and still has trademark protection.

The suit is aimed at Dream Hotels and nightclub development company Tao Group, in which Jason Stauss and Noah Tepperberg are partners and whom Gatien has known since they were teenagers, according to the New York Post.

The hotel chain intends to use the name at its Dream Hollywood location, which has yet to open. Gatien’s lawyers state that the defendant’s club venture is a “transparent attempt to build a new business based on misappropriations of Gatien’s Limelight brand recognition and deception of consumers.” Limelight closed in 2001.