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NAR fight over its “R” trademark

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NAR fight over its “R” trademark

NAR fight over its “R” trademark. As the National Association of Realtors loses its grip on the long-established practices of its members, it remains fiercely protective of its branding.

The trade group filed a motion with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to block financial technology firm OpenDeal from acquiring a trademark for its logo, Inman reported. OpenDeal operates, an investment platform that employs an ‘R’ as its logo, just as NAR does.

OpenDeal started the trademarking process for its logo in October 2022. NAR has been using its block letter ‘R’ as a logo since 1973, receiving trademark protection two years later.

NAR’s known to do everything it can to protect its brand. It has been involved in dozens of attempts to stop other companies or organizations from trademarking brands it deems too similar to its own. The trade group has a 25-page manual centered around how its logo can be used. Members know to use the term “Realtor” in very specific fashion.

In its motion, NAR said OpenDeal “purposefully chose to trade on NAR’s goodwill in the R brand.”

NAR is still smarting from a significant antitrust lawsuit defeat in Sitzer/Burnett. The trade group recently settled the antitrust lawsuits its been facing over broker commissions, agreeing to pay $418 million in damages over four years to resolve claims.

NAR also agreed to change some of its policies, including guidelines around broker compensation, the crux of many of the lawsuits the group has been facing. New rules are slated to go into effect in July.

It’s been a turbulent period for NAR, which in recent months faced a sexual harassment scandal that forced a leadership change, a president’s exit after weeks on the job over a blackmail threat and the arrival of the American Real Estate Association aiming to rival the longtime trade group. NAR’s total membership recently dipped below 1.5 million for the first time in nearly three years

The case before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board isn’t expected to be resolved before later next year.


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