Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that Judge Stephen C. Robinson, United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, entered a Preliminary Injunction in connection with litigation filed last week by Starwood against Hilton Hotels Corporation and former Starwood executives Ross Klein and Amar Lalvani. Starwood alleges that Klein and Lalvani, aided and abetted by Hilton, stole massive amounts of proprietary and highly confidential Starwood information which was used to expedite Hilton’s entry into the lifestyle hotel market, reposition its luxury brands and substantially reduce its costs and risks of doing so.
The Preliminary Injunction, which was agreed to by Starwood, Hilton, Klein and Lalvani, will remain in effect for at least 90 days. It enjoins Hilton, Klein and Lalvani from:
Developing further the Denizen Hotels brand. This requires that all internal and external design, branding, development, promotion, programming, staffing and marketing of the Denizen Hotels brand cease.
Engaging in any discussions or negotiations with prospective owners, developers and/or franchisees relating to the Denizen Hotels brand.
Using, directly or indirectly, in any way the documents and electronic information obtained from Starwood (the “Starwood Information”) or any information contained in or derived from the Starwood Information.
The injunction applies to any officers, agents, servants, employees, or attorneys of Hilton, Klein and Lalvani, as well as all other persons acting or participating with them (including designers, architects, consultants and advisors engaged by Hilton in connection with the Denizen Hotels brand).
Defendant Hilton is further ordered to return to Starwood any and all Starwood Information in its possession or control. Defendants Klein and Lalvani are ordered to preserve and provide to their counsel all Starwood Information in their possession or control. Proceedings in this action are stayed pending further Court Order.
Hilton has placed Klein, Lalvani and their entire luxury and lifestyle team on paid administrative leave of absence and suspended all further development of the Denizen Hotels brand.