RE/MAX sues Daytona Beach company over alleged trademark infringment

A Daytona company is being pressured by real estate giant RE/MAX to abandon its customer-facing promotions that use the colors red, white and blue.

Those are very popular colors, of course, and although RE/MAX has no claim to the colors themselves, it believes the way Daytona Property Management is using them violates its trademark.

A trademark, as you may know, is a symbol, word or phrase used to distinguish the products of one seller from those made by another. No company could trademark, say, the color blue itself (i.e. exclude all others from using any shade of blue for any reason), but it could trademark a particular, unique shade of blue or a certain distinctive use of the color blue in advertising and/or marketing, especially if it is in connection with the sale of real estate.

The trademark RE/MAX believes it is being infringed is its signature horizontal-stripe logo. Evidently, RE/MAX learned about Daytona Property Management’s use of red, white and blue in a manner similar to its own trademarked logo back in 2008. A company representative said a letter was mailed to the Daytona business asking it to stop, but it did not.

RE/MAX has now filed suit in federal court and wants Daytona Property Management to stop using its current logo and to destroy the existing signs that it believes violate its trademark.

For its part, Daytona Property Management has not commented publicly on the lawsuit, nor on its use of red, white and blue in its promotions.

Source: The Daytoa News-Journal, “Daytona firm accused of trademark infringement,” Tom Knox, May 5, 2012