Well my sign saga moves to a new level. Many of you responded to my earlier article and informal survey asking you if you were confused by our company’s yard sign and its non-resemblance to the Re/Max sign design.
In one of my most read, and most commented on articles in the past year, I shared with you how Re/Max International corporate headquarters sent our company a “cease and desist” letter demanding we change and replace all our yard signs, nationwide.
They asserted that Re/Max owns a trademark on any use of red-over-white-over-blue in a real estate yard sign and that we were infringing on their trademark! Needless to say, we didn’t see it that way. I believe my exact thoughts were, are you freaking kidding me?
There are only three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. Only two of them contrast well on a white sign. (Any idea which two?) They further claimed that consumers would be confused and unable to distinguish our companies’ respective signs. I responded and posted a copy of their letter and my response on the previous article.
After that, I thought it might be fun to conduct an informal, non-scientific test, so we put one of their yard signs next to one of ours and asked readers to see if they could pick out the Re/Max sign. (See the illustration above.) Amazingly, not a single agent was confused! Several, however, were amazed at Re/Max’s overly-broad interpretation of their own trademark and many were annoyed by their intimidation tactics.
So this week I received another fat envelope from Re/Max. This one was their “final” demand letter. I answered it as well, and have posted a link to both letters, in case you are interested, or similarly find this amusing. Click here to view their “final” demand letter. Click here to view my reply.
Please feel free to weigh in and comment below. For the record, FavoriteAgent.com has no intention of rolling over for Re/Max and while we respect their trademarks, we are not the least bit intimidated by this power-grab. Re/Max is more than welcome to pay us to voluntarily change our sign design or not pay us and we’ll just keep it. Either way, it looks like it will be a source of entertainment a bit longer.