Settlement Reached in Tavern on the Green Trademark Dispute; Streambank LLC to Conduct Sale of Intellectual Property Rights

Apr 28, 2011, 15:12 ET from Streambank LLC

NEW YORK, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York approved a settlement today in the ongoing dispute between the City of New York and the Chapter 7 Trustee for Tavern on the Green Limited Partnership, LP and LeRoy Adventures, Inc. concerning the ownership of the trademark "Tavern on the Green."  The trustee, through her court approved agent, Streambank LLC, will immediately begin marketing the estates' rights, which will be sold in a bankruptcy court-approved sale process.

The settlement, among other things, provides for use of the "Tavern on the Green" name by the City of New York and the estates' successor.  The agreement authorizes the Chapter 7 Trustee to sell the estates' use rights to a third party, allowing the buyer to use the Tavern on the Green name and current logo for restaurants located outside of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and a portion of Pennsylvania.  The settlement also allows the buyer to use the name Tavern on the Green for branding of a wide variety of products including packaged foods, home furnishing and accessories.  The settlement agreement allows the estates' successor to operate without payment of royalties to the City of New York.

Under the settlement, the City will own the Tavern on the Green trademark registration for restaurant and bar services and will have the exclusive use of the name Tavern on the Green for restaurant services in New York City, including the world renowned location in Central Park.  Also, under the settlement agreement, a portion of the proceeds from the Chapter 7 Trustee's sale of the use rights -- 25% of net proceeds -- will be distributed to the City.

The settlement resolves litigation between the City of New York and the Chapter 7 Trustee for Tavern on the Green Limited Partnership and LeRoy Adventures, Inc. over ownership of the "Tavern on the Green" trademarks which resulted in a decision by the United States District Court in March 2010 in favor of the City.  The Chapter 7 Trustee preserved the estates' rights of appeal while negotiating the settlement with the City.

The Chapter 7 Trustee intends to sell the rights through a bankruptcy court approved sale process.  The marketing and sale of the estate's intellectual property rights will be conducted by Streambank, LLC, the Trustee's court-approved agent.  Streambank has been working alongside Jil Mazer-Marino, the Chapter 7 Trustee, throughout the negotiation process.

"Jil Mazer-Marino has done a terrific job for the bankruptcy estates," said Gabe Fried, Streambank principal.  "She was given responsibility over a very difficult and complex situation and has turned this into a very valuable asset for the estates while preserving its value as an iconic centerpiece for the City of New York.  The settlement reached with the City reflects the best possible outcome that was achievable without engaging in expensive and risky continued litigation.  The settlement creates the opportunity for the estate's successor to operate independently from the City of New York, but leaves the door open to future collaboration."  Fried went on to say that "Tavern on the Green is an iconic brand associated with perhaps the most famous restaurant in the world.  This is a unique opportunity and we believe there will be substantial interest in the marketplace for these assets."  

The approval of the settlement benefits the City by ending an almost two year battle over the Tavern on the Green trademark and results in the City owning the Tavern on the Green trademark registration for restaurant and bar services and the exclusive rights to the name Tavern on the Green for restaurants located in the City.

Tavern on the Green opened in 1934, in an 1870 Victorian Gothic structure on the west side of Central Park.  Over the next 40 years, a succession of management companies operated the restaurant, which underwent several renovations and expansions.  A decline in business forced the restaurant's closure in 1974.  Shortly thereafter, restaurateur Warner LeRoy acquired the lease and implemented a $10 million renovation, reopening the landmark eatery in August 1976.  Described as offering a dazzling dining experience in a fantasy-like setting, Tavern on the Green became, and has remained, a favored destination and the setting for many of New York's most prestigious events, including charity and political functions, Broadway openings and international film premieres.  The LeRoy family continued to operate the restaurant until the end of their lease in December 2009, which resulted in the chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and the subsequent conversion to chapter 7.  

Please contact Gabriel Fried at 781-444-4940 for more information.

About Streambank

Streambank is an advisory firm, specializing in the valuation, marketing, and sales of intangible assets for businesses at all stages.  Streambank identifies, preserves, and extracts value for clients through the application of experience, diligence and creativity.  The firm's recent experience includes Anchor Blue Holdings, Movie Gallery, Circuit City Stores, KB Toys and other notable retail names.  Additionally, Streambank provides intangible asset valuation services to stakeholders in a variety of contexts including compliance and reporting, lending, and for the resolution of disputes. Streambank provides sound advice on value maximization strategies and liquidity options.  Streambank is headquartered in Needham, MA and has offices in New York, NY.

CONTACT: Kirstin DiCecca

SOURCE Streambank LLC