Popular business slogan, “We Buy Ugly Houses” is one asset that is not up for sale according to recent trademark litigation filed by HomeVestors of America, Inc.
HomeVestors filed suit against Mitchell Painter and Rentclifton.com for trademark infringement over use of the phrase “We Buy Ugly Houses.” The case, HomeVestors of America Inc. v. Mitchell Painter, et al. was filed on March 4, 2020, in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas. This is the most recent development in a decade-long dispute between the parties over the phrase, to which HomeVestors claims exclusive rights.
In its complaint, HomeVestors states that it spent $298 million over the past ten years incorporating the phrase into its brand, and that allowing competitors, such as Defendants, to use it will cause “irreparable harm.” The complaint further alleges that Painter and his company, Rentclifton.com, use the phrase in advertising and on other forums, and that they are in direct competition with HomeVestors’ house-flipping business. The complaint states, “If customers of defendants experience interior services, they will likely mistakenly attribute that bad experience to HomeVestors and its franchisees due to defendants’ adoption of the same marks.” The lawsuit includes claims of federal and state trademark infringement, unfair competition, unjust enrichment, and breach of contract.
Protecting intellectual property that is closely associated with you or your company is vital to succeeding in today’s competitive marketplace. Do not let others dilute the name recognition and goodwill you have worked so hard to establish. If you have intellectual property rights that you would like to protect, please contact the Showalter Colgin & Davis, PLLC for assistance.