Do Morons In A Hurry Buy Real Estate?

from the how-confusing-is-this? dept

I was going to pass on this particular story, but so many people have been submitting it that it seemed worth at least a quick post. Real estate giant Re/max apparently has some lawyers with free time on their hands now that the housing market has collapsed. It seems like they must, because they felt it was necessary to oppose the trademark application of a small real estate agency in North Carolina that goes by the name Rehava. Remax and Rehava aren’t particularly similar, and neither are their logos:

But, that hasn’t stopped Re/max from complaining. It goes beyond just the “Re” at the beginning. Apparently Re/max lawyers think that the line somewhere near the “e” will confuse people. And then, it just gets ridiculous:

“If you chop the top off of the ‘h,’ you (almost) have the ‘m’ in Re/Max. The next letter is an ‘a,’ and if you take the ‘v’ then you have half of an ‘x.’ ”

This certainly seems like a situation where the moron in a hurry test should apply. Tragically, however, our legal system never seems to be in much of a hurry, and so its costing Rehava plenty of time and money to respond to the opposition by Re/max.

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Companies: rehava, remax

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Comments on “Do Morons In A Hurry Buy Real Estate?”

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Lawrence D'Oliveiro says:

Not The First

Somewhere around 1993 or so, I remember a product for building GUIs on top of Apple’s AppleScript language. It was called “Frontmost”. Then later I found the name had been changed to “FaceSpan”, because the previous name was considered too similar to Userland’s “Frontier” scripting product. I was incredulous at the time.

I used to subscribe to Wired magazine. I stopped when they cheerfully admitted in one issue to shutting down the domain for a women’s group called WIRE, because the name was too similar to their own.

D Crockett says:

Ban Guns or Lawyers?

The moonbat President wants to erase the second amendment – that’s the right to bear arms. For you in California that means own guns.

The ownership of guns is protected by the Constitution, but lawyes are not and they cause far more damage. Let’s ban them.

Are you listening Barry Hussein Obama?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Ban Guns or Lawyers?

Actually, the “right to bear arms” does not refer to private citizens owning guns. It has to do with the right of the states to have a standing militia.

Actually it does. Militias were typically composed of private citizens who banded together using their own private arms. The term “standing militia” is an oxymoron. A militia is NOT a standing military and is many times not even government sanctioned.

Anonymous Coward says:


I’m from Portugal and a few years back Philip Morris sued a Portuguese tobacco company because of the similarities between Marlboro and Marbelo (picture links included), both in name and design and that people would get confused. Thankfully a judge through the lawsuit out the window.

A lot of people where not very happy with the decision, mostly the press and large companies going on a “crusade” arguing that copyright would get abused, and other companies would start commercializing “Relax” watches, etc. etc.

Bottom line, nobody got confused and no “other copyright issues”…

Slackr says:

Honestly, how do lawyers live with themselves trying to make this type of case actually work? I think someone was right when they said there was a drug problem at that law office! Either that or they’ve got seriously bad eyesight.

Re/Max if your branding is so crappy that you are threatened by this company (that looks nothing like you) – one pointless lawsuit isn’t going to help you.

Anonymous Coward says:

Please read people, and do a little investigating...

To all those people writing about trials and suing and countersuits, please re-read the post. Remax has filed an opposition in the USPTO to a trademark application for Rehava. An opposition is merely a letter to the USPTO explaining why the applicant should not be entitled to a trademark. Such opposition is beneficial to limit potential confusion. For example, if someone wanted to trademark “techdirty,” which would be used for a web site promoting the numerous benefits of intellectual property, Mike Masnick could file an opposition because of potential confusion over his site.

As for Mike’s comment regarding “plenty of time and money” to fight the opposition, that depends on your definition of “plenty.” Yes, it might cost several thousand dollars. On the other hand, it might cost several hundred dollars. Unless Mike is prepared to give a definition to “plenty” or a source that indicates that “plenty” was significantly more than the cost of applying for the trademark, “plenty” seems like exaggeration and possibly hyperbole.

From the “time” viewpoint, responding to an opposition may take several hours, or it may take very little time and may be a relatively simple response.

In any case, the definition of “plenty” in this case is not defined at all, and thus is a relative term. Plenty of time as compared to baking chocolate chip cookies? Probably. Plenty of time as compared to overhauling your car engine? Probably not.

Gimme a break says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Please read people, and do a little investigating...

“For example, if someone wanted to trademark “techdirty,” which would be used for a web site promoting the numerous benefits of intellectual property, Mike Masnick could file an opposition because of potential confusion over his site.”

– Again, your selection of an an analogous situation is in error.

“example was related to the opposition process, not with respect to the similarity of the names Remax and Rehava”

– So, it is the process that is important and not the analogy. Gee, it all makes much more sense now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Please read people, and do a little investigating...

Do you have a point?

The opposition process in the USPTO is for stakeholders to set forth an argument as to why an applicant for a trademark should not receive that trademark.

For example, if someone applied for a trademark on “techdirty,” which might be used as a web site to promote intellectual property, then Mike Masnick could oppose the filing of that trademark on the grounds that the proposed trademark would cause confusion in the minds of users of techdirt.

At what point in this chain of thought did you become confused?

kristy says:

I don’t know Mr. Deguzman’s history, nor do I know yours, “Bill”, but there are many, many “felons” amongst us, who are in fact great, moral, honest people. One can be convicted of a felony for MANY different reasons….some reasons are strictly technical within the law, even, arguably, trivial; and, of course, some convictions are for unimaginable crimes…and repetitive criminal activity. You would be surprised. I, for one, happened to be with the wrong person at the wrong time when I was 21 years old, and I, who had never been arrested, not even a traffic ticket, am now considered a “felon”. Be careful who you, WITH sin, decide to judge…”Bill”.

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