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Real estate broker cannot use name of development when marketing

There are many reasons why a real estate development might be involved in a lawsuit with another entity. Disputes can arise between virtually any party involved and could be based on a wide variety of issues. Sometimes they arise as a result of the work performed. Other times it is due to the quality of materials used. In still other situations there could be an issue with acquiring the desired land or securing the zoning or funding necessary to move the project forward. 

A real-estate broker and development in the Orlando area are in a dispute of another nature. Over the course of the last few years, the woman has re-sold approximately 14 properties located in the development. Those sales may in part be due to the marketing material she has developed that include the name of the exclusive country-club development called Bella Collina. She included the name of the community on her Facebook page, business cards and website which might lead some to believe that she is connected to the development.

The owners of the development alleged that the woman was misleading potential buyers to think that she had a relationship with the development when in fact she was actually the listing agent for some properties that had previously been purchased. They also alleged trademark violation and a federal judge agreed.

As a result of that ruling the woman removed most of the references to the development’s name. In addition, the woman is unable to get to any of the properties that she currently has listed. It is possible that she could also be forced to payback commissions to the developer.

While trademark disputes in the area of real estate may at first seem out of place, they should nonetheless be taken seriously. The failure to do so could result in parties losing out on a large amount of money.

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