Hilton has struggled to get the H3 brand trademarked for its new extended-stay hotels. Some alternative names it's considering include Livsmart, filings showed.
Hilton is considering as many as 14 names for upcoming hotel brands, its recent trademark filings show.
But only a couple of these names are likely to ever appear on hotel signs. Hilton’s trademark filings only signal an intent to create brands, and the company could still decide against following through.
“For competitive reasons, we do not comment on our trademark filings,” said a Hilton spokesperson.
Hilton seeks a hotel brand name for its Project H3.
Hilton announced in May an extended-stay apartment suites hotel concept — tentatively called Project H3.
“What we affectionately call Project H3, we will have a name for in the next few weeks,” Nassetta said. “It takes a long time to get IP [intellectual property] these days in Washington.”
In mid-September, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office asked for more information because of potential confusion with an existing brand, H3 Ranch, a steakhouse restaurant brand for a company in Fort Worth, Texas.
In reaction, Hilton asked the government for additional time to respond. In late November, that wish was granted.
Hilton is considering alternative names for H3.
Hilton has filed trademark requests for several brand names that could apply to a suite-based hotel brand.
Presumably, the company is considering these other names as an alternative to H3. However, none of the filings provide descriptions or drawings about the proposed brands — making inferences difficult.
Here are the suite-themed trademarks it applied for this year, in alphabetical order.
- Adapt Suites by Hilton — Hilton filed in October to respond to potential name confusion with “Adapt Community Network,” an existing trademark.
- Belong Suites by Hilton — Status unclear. The government suspended this application pending another non-travel company’s application for the brand Belong, and then that other application was suspended in September.
- Dwelling Suites by Hilton — Hilton officially abandoned this application this month.
- Delve Suites by Hilton — On track for approval as of November, pending paperwork.
- Livsmart by Hilton — Approved in October.
- Livsmart Residences by Hilton — Filed in August, pending review.
- Livsmart Studios by Hilton — Approved in October.
- Livsmart Suites by Hilton — On track for approval as of November, pending paperwork.
- Suitely by Hilton — On track for approval as of November, pending paperwork.
- Suite Start — approved in October
Hilton is also looking at other brand names for unknown use.
Hilton also applied for a few other hotel brand names in recent years.
In October 2021, it applied for the brand name Spark by Hilton, which sailed through approvals in January 2023. That month, Hilton announced Spark by Hilton as a new brand. (The timeline underscores how long the branding process can take.)
It’s unclear if these other brands were also-rans for Spark by Hilton or if they’re intended for other projects.
- Gleam by Hilton — On track for approval as of September, pending paperwork.
- Pixel by Hilton — On track for approval as of October, pending paperwork.
- Twilo by Hilton — On track for approval as of November, pending paperwork.
Hotel “brand bloat”?
Some industry observers complain about so-called hotel “brand bloat.” A few decades ago, hotel companies only had a few dozen brands. Now they have more than 1,000. Some people question the usefulness of these brands when some hoteliers cheat on their brands by defining them poorly.
Yet others are more upbeat. One Management Science study last year found that companies that register more trademarks in a year see their share prices outperform companies that register fewer — after adjusting for company asset size for relevant comparisons.
Hilton’s promised mystery brand needs a name.
Nassetta has said that Hilton aims to develop yet another type of hotel brand, too.
“We don’t have a hard luxury lifestyle brand, and we’re working on one,” Nassetta said at Skift Global Forum. “I don’t know when we’ll do it. I legitimately don’t know, and I’m not holding back on you. But I would say in the next year or two, we’ll do something in that space.”
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Photo credit: Hilton in 2023 announced an extended-stay hotel brand without yet an official name and temporarily called Project H3. Here's a photo-illustration of a guest room. Source: Hilton.