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You Say Griffin, I Say Gryphon

The owner of the Gryphon nightclub, located at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, says a Manhattan nightclub called Griffin has swiped his name.

I'm no legal expert, but it looks like the only similarities between the two clubs' names are their pronunciation and meaning: a mythical creature with an eagle's head and wings, with a lion's body.

But don't take my word for it. Let's consult one of the internet's foremost experts on all things gryphon (and griffin).


In order to begin to look into the origins of the Gryphon, one must first know exactly what that a Gryphon is. Seeing as how they are prominent creatures in Greek art, one would naturally think that the Greeks "created" them, which is in fact, quite false.

Aha! So Ault should be suing the Greeks? Well... no. Back to GryphonPages:

Gryphons were never a part of Greek culture in the first place, and had come into their knowledge by tales told from those few brave enough to dare past the borders of their country to the north, in central Asia, known as Scythia to the ancient Greeks.

There, the nomads who roamed the regions of the Gobi Desert and the Altai Mountains would tell tales to the Grecian travelers of fierce "griffins" in and and beyond their land, lion-like creatures with sharp eagle beaks. And seeing as how Scythia was an abundant source of gold, the nomads and the Greeks concluded that the "griffins" were attracted to the precious metal and would line their nests with it, killing all who would be foolish enough to take it away from them.

So the gryphons were created by the Scythians! Considering that civilization peaked around 339 B.C., maybe they have a case against Ault. Or at least they might have if the Scythian Kingdom didn't collapse after it was invaded by the Goths in 2 A.D.

But I'm guessing Ault's lawyers neglected to mention these historical details in the cease-and-desist order they sent to the NYC hot spot, which opened in March. In it, Ault demanded the NYC clubowner stop using his club's name, or he can expect a lawsuit. Apparently having a club located more than 1,000 miles away with the same pronunciation is bad for business.

Warning to expectant parents: Do not, I repeat, do not, name your child Griffin. Or you too may know the curse of the Gryphon. That goes for businesses too.

Calls to Ault were not immediately returned.

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Nicole Rodriguez

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