– HomeVestors Franchise Has Been Diligent in Protecting its Trademarks
DALLAS, TX – June 29, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — HomeVestors of America, Inc. (“HomeVestors”), known for its registered trademark We Buy Ugly Houses®, has been diligent in protecting its trademarks. For many years HomeVestors has aggressively pursued a campaign to stop third parties from improperly using the company’s federally registered and protected trademarks in their business activities.
Over the past year, HomeVestors has successfully transferred over six domain names that were wrongfully registered using variations of the WE BUY UGLY HOUSES® trademark and is in the final stages of transferring several more. In addition, HomeVestors has successfully disabled some 10 other websites and taken down several unauthorized Facebook pages.
Use of third-party trademarks as part of domain names constitutes cyberpiracy under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(d)(1) for which statutory damages can be awarded in the amount of $100,000 per domain name. Use by unaffiliated third-parties of the HomeVestors trademarks also constitutes trademark infringement under Section 32(1) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(a) and is considered unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) and Texas law.
“Such violations are serious and cause consumers to be confused as to the source of the service offered under those trademarks,” explained HomeVestors litigation attorney Darin Klemchuk of Klemchuk Kubasta LLP.
HomeVestors is the #1 buyer of houses in the U.S. The first franchise company of its kind, HomeVestors has been franchising since 1996. HomeVestors currently has about 200 franchises in 33 states. Franchisees are authorized to use the WE BUY UGLY HOUSES® trademarks in connection with their franchised business. In recent years, due to the success of the business, HomeVestors has seen many impostors who register domain names incorporating variations of the WE BUY UGLY HOUSES® and HomeVestors® trademarks. Such use is meant to attract consumers to competitors’ websites by trading on, leveraging or compromising the substantial goodwill that HomeVestors has built in its trademarks.
HomeVestors has owned and used the HOMEVESTORS®, WE BUY UGLY HOUSES®, the UG family of marks, and other proprietary trademarks continuously for many years. During this time, HomeVestors has invested significantly in developing its brand and maintaining the national goodwill represented by its trademarks.
“We have spent a great deal of time and money building our brand,” said HomeVestors Co-President David Hicks. “It is very important for us to maintain the strength of that brand for the benefit of our company and our franchisees. We will continue to pursue those who would infringe upon our trademarks in the interest of hijacking our customers or discrediting our hard-earned reputation.”
About HomeVestors of America, Inc.
Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the #1 buyer of houses in the U.S. HomeVestors trains and supports real estate franchises that specialize in buying and rehabbing residential properties. Most commonly known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community. In 2010, for the fifth consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review’s “Top 50 Franchises,” a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction. For more information, visit www.HomeVestors.com.
About Klemchuk Kubasta LLP
Klemchuk Kubasta LLP is a law firm offering a full array of intellectual property related services, including litigation and enforcement of all forms of intellectual property, as well as registration and licensing of patents, trademarks, trade dress, and copyrights. The firm also provides legal services relating to trade secrets, unfair competition, domain names, e-commerce, privacy policies, Internet law, commercial and business litigation, technology transactions, and international business and trade. Located in Dallas, Texas, Klemchuk Kubasta LLP supports a diverse client base ranging from startups to established market-leading companies. Through its Virtual IP Counselsm and Virtual General Counselsm programs, the firm also has experience with technology incubators and pre-first round financing technology start-ups. Klemchuk Kubasta LLP also serves as local counsel for IP and commercial litigation cases pending in Texas, including the federal courts in the Northern and Eastern Districts of Texas. Additional information about the firm and its attorneys may be found at www.kk-llp.com.
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