I don’t participate too much in forums anymore, but the one I have been visiting and participating in most frequently, lately, is Real Estate Webmasters. Over the last few days, a really interesting thread developed concerning Relo-Experts.com and the use of the term relo, which is trademarked by Reliance Relocation Services.
I, for one, was surprised to find out that the word relo is trademarked, since it’s so widely used as a generic term. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, though, because I knew that the term REALTOR® is trademarked.
The second post in the thread, by the owner of Relo-Experts.com, lays out the background. You should read the entire post, but here is my favorite part [emphasis is mine]:
A couple of days later I called Reliance’s attorney and told him I did not want to fight the battle at that time and so we discussed a “settlement.” I told him since there were a number of agents that could be affected by the directory going offline the only stipulation I had was the directory could not come down before April 1, 2005. The attorney had to have that approved by Reliance, they agreed, and I received a letter dated January 10, 2005 that the case had been dismissed.
On February 26, 2005 I moved from Austin to Indianapolis and did a change of address with the post office and had the phone company forward my calls to my Indianapolis phone number. On March 14, 2005 I changed the domain registration information for relo-experts.com to my new address and phone number.
Towards the end of March the attorney called me at my Indianapolis home wanting to confirm that the site would be down on April 1st. That is when I told him that it was not going to happen. He wanted to know why and why I had given the April 1st date for removal and I reminded him that was April Fools’ Day and if they were going to refile I was now ready to do battle.
April Fools! Ha! I actually worked with this guy a little bit during my stint at a real estate website company and I knew he wasn’t one to take any shit, but I didn’t know he had balls like that! Love it!
Unfortunately, it seems as though the case was brought back to life due to a single professional individual as noted in post #11. This agent apparently got pissed for some reason and allegedly started a campaign to get back at Relo-Experts.com. I can’t really give the post any justice by summarizing it, so check it out!
It’s pretty obvious which side the majority of the members of Real Estate Webmasters is taking. Personally, I don’t know enough about real estate, the issue, and trademarks to take an educated stance. However, I think the issue is very interesting and entertaining.
I’m just still amazed with the amount and level of cattiness that occurs online.