View Full Version : Buyer Beware

08-03-2004, 02:18 PM
Just got this in the email. Has anyone else received one and can they do this?


Dear Owner:

The Internet domain name, realtorimage.biz, which you have recently
registered has been identified by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS as
one in which the membership marks of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS
(National Association) are used as a part of the domain name. The domain
name came to our attention as a result of our monitoring of the Internet
for use of the REALTOR membership marks. The terms REALTOR, REALTORS, and
REALTOR-ASSOCIATE, as well as the REALTOR block "R" logo, are all
federally registered collective membership marks owned by the National
Association. Collective membership marks are a type of trademark which,
rather than indicating the source of a product or service, identify the
user of the membership mark as a member of a particular group, in this
case the National Association.

The National Association has over 900,000 members each of whom is licensed
to use one or more of the membership marks to identify themselves and
their real estate businesses. Over twenty-five years ago, the National
Association developed a comprehensive set of rules governing the proper
use of the membership marks by its members to accomplish this in an
orderly manner. These rules still apply not only in the print world, but
also in the new electronic media. Members of the National Association may
find information on the proper use of the membership marks in the
Membership Marks Manual which is posted on our website at www.REALTOR.org.
The Manual can be found by clicking on the following links: -“Law &
Policy” and “REALTOR Trademark Rules.” If you are a member, please review
these rules and if you have any questions, please contact me by replying
to this email.

If you are not a member your use of the membership marks is incorrect and
not authorized by the National Association. Because the use has not been
authorized it may also be viewed as an infringement of the National
Association's legal rights in its membership marks under the federal
Lanham Act and other state and federal laws. To eliminate this potential
source of conflict, we would appreciate your cooperation in revising your
site and/or domain name to eliminate the use of the membership marks. Many
times this is as simple as substituting an appropriate job title for the
term being used, for example, real estate broker can often be used without
making any other changes to the text. If you would like to read more
about trademarks and the rights of trademark owners, there are a number of
sites on the Internet, which address this topic.

We are attempting to track our efforts in connection with the Internet and
request that you acknowledge your understanding of this request for your
cooperation and provide us with your assurance that you will not use this
domain name. Our e-mail address is trademark@Realtors.org. Thank you for
your help and we look forward to receiving your reply.

Mary Newill, Trademark Administrator
Legal Affairs Department
430 N. Michigan
Chicago, IL 60611-4087

08-03-2004, 02:30 PM
This was discussed in another thread here:


I'm not a lawyer, but it looks like they can. I think your best choice is to start looking for a new domain name.

08-03-2004, 10:39 PM
I think that sucks since Realtor has become a generic term for real estate agent. Like people used to say "zerox it"...meaning copy it.