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Watch Your Use of REALTOR®

October 21 2010

realtor logo1The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently succeeded in a challenge to a REALTOR® member who misused the REALTOR® tradename in registering the domain name

NAR filed a complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organization ("WIPO") who found that the member registered the domain name in bad faith and not in conformance with the spirit of NAR's rules and that such name would confuse the public over the member's connection with the website The WIPO administrative law panel then ordered the transfer of the domain name to NAR.

As held by the panel:

"Respondent's conduct smacks of a bad faith intention to use the literal words of the NAR license to undermine the actual intent of the parties. Complainant's license is designed to allow real estate professionals to publish websites that use their distinctive names along with the REALTOR® designation such as . It does not appear to have been designed to allow NAR members to cleverly call their company by a descriptive name (such as "I'm The Top") and then use that name in conjunction with the REALTOR® mark.

National Ass'n of REALTORS® v. Fothergill, No. D2010-1284 (WIPO Arb. & Med. Ctr. Sept. 20, 2010).

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