You've worked hard to develop your real estate brand - make sure it stays yours.
Real Estate is a hyper-competitive field where a trusted brand, like yours, stands out as a safe place for clients. But how do you protect all the brand equity you developed through blood, sweat and tears? A Registered Trademark gives you exclusive use of your name for all things real estate, and ensures you don't have to change your name and give up all you have worked for. However, there are some special considerations for trademarking in the real estate field.
First of all, many names in real estate are the names of the real estate professionals, or construction companies (which may be named after the owner). Surnames are specifically barred from trademark protection, unless you can show acquired distinctiveness. That means that people attribute a secondary meaning to your name in the area of realty or real estate. They associate it with quality, or home development in a certain area or style, etc. rather than just a surname. So, before you can get a trademark for a mark that contains a surname, you need to show all the marketing efforts you have made that have given your name that secondary meaning.
Even if you do not have the surname issue with your brand, you need to ensure your brand is unique in the field of realty and real estate so that another, earlier user of the trademark can't come back and make you change your name by asserting his or her prior rights. An name change would be disastrous for your business since your clients find you through your brand.
You also need to be sure that the class covers your products and services completely. There are real estate services (real estate and realty services are in Trademark Class 36) that you are offering and other services that you need to help you provide those services. What you should associate with your brand is only those that the client will be receiving from you in the end result. Make sure the services are specific enough to avoid a rejection for vagueness. Also, if you are selling completed homes created by your company, then that should be covered as well, in a different class for goods rather than services.
Other considerations before filing include ensuring that your trademark is actually free for your use, which a search will reveal, and avoiding a descriptive mark (like REALTOR, for example) which may be denied trademark protection. When we file your trademark, we run a comprehensive set of checks to ensure that obvious barriers to registration are considered.
The realty and real estate market is very competitive and you need to put your best foot forward with trademark protection to cover your brand, that you have worked so hard to build. Don't let a competitor take advantage of your hard work, register your trade mark today.