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I have a marketing company called National Association

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Representatives, we produce sales leads...
I have a marketing company called National Association Representatives, we produce sales leads for health insurance, via direct email marketing to independent contractors including real estate agents. The name of my domain is narinsurance.com. After a few months of doing this, the NAR (Natl Assoc. of Realtors) sent me a certified letter ordering me to cease an decist the marketing to real estate agents claiming copyright infringement. They threatened legal action such as an injunction, lawsuit, etc. and stated that not only must I stop doing it, but that I must abandon my domain or transfer it to them.
I did not transfer my domain, but I did suspend marketing. at the time I did use the term "Realtor" which is a trademark in my marketing. My question is: It seems they have no legal right to my domain as they are simply the NAR, not an insurance entity, and I want to continue to market to real estate agents under the domain so, can I. Do they have a legitimate claim?
thank you
Submitted: 9 years ago.Category: Intellectual Property Law
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Answered in 27 minutes by:
5/1/2008
IP Lawyer: LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer replied 9 years ago
LawHelpNow
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Hello and thanks so much for choosing this forum to pose your important legal question. I will do my best to give you some honest and accurate guidance.

  1. Yes, they do have a legitimate claim. The word "REALTOR™" tends to sometimes be used in a generic sense (instead of real estate agent or broker) like "Xerox™" (instead of photocopy) or "BandAid™" (instead of adhesive bandage).
  2. This issue has been litigated in favor of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). This organization tends to be quite serious about asserting their trademark protections, so I would definitely tread very cautiously.

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
I do understand that (part 1). My question is if I continue to market and do not use the term realtor or even refer to real estate agents. However, I would continue to use my narinsurance.com domain to market to independent contractors of all types including real estate agents.
Are you saying that you just using the domain "narinsurance.com" could be a problem, even though I do not refer to realtors? There are other associations who use NAR i.e natl. assoc. of rocketry.
IP Lawyer: LawHelpNow, Attorney/Lawyer replied 9 years ago

Hello again and thanks for writing back. I will be glad to try and clarify my answer.

  1. I apologize for perhaps missing your main point. I would foresee no problems with what you propose. Simply using the letters "NAR" is certainly not identical to the trademark in question. Nor do I believe that it would be deemed confusingly similar to the trademarks held by the entity in question.

Take care and thanks again for choosing Just Answer™!

[Please click the "Accept" button.]

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Customer reply replied 9 years ago
Thank you for your answer. I clicked the accept button in this box yesterday, but I have received an email that says I need to accept the answer. I am going to try it again, hopefully I won't be charged twice.
Again, thank you.
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