HomeVestors Attains Victory Over Trademark Infringers
– Eastern District of Texas Court Enters Ruling in ‘We Buy Ugly Houses®’ Case –
– HomeVestors of America Remains Diligent in Protecting its Trademarks –
DALLAS, Nov. 23, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — HomeVestors of America, Inc., known for its registered trademark We Buy Ugly Houses®, recently reached a settlement with individuals who were infringing the HomeVestors trademarks by using the marks as part of domain names and in text on competing websites.
As part of the Settlement Agreement, HomeVestors and the defendants filed an Agreed Permanent Injunction with the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Texas. On August 20, 2010, United States District Judge Michael H. Schneider signed this Permanent Injunction and ordered the defendants to refrain from further using the HomeVestors trademarks. Further details on this case can be found in the Eastern District of Texas, Civ. Action No. 4:10-cv-00282.
“We were happy to get an injunction from the District Court Judge. This victory is a strong step toward successfully protecting our brand for years to come,” said HomeVestors Co-President David Hicks.
Since the time of the Permanent Injunction issued in the U.S. District Court, HomeVestors has successfully reached settlement with several other infringers who had bought domain names from the Defendants in the above-styled case or who use the HomeVestors trademarks on their competing websites.
“This ruling supports the enforceability of HomeVestors’ trademark portfolio, and serves as a warning to infringers,” explained HomeVestors litigation attorney Darin Klemchuk of Klemchuk Kubasta LLP.
HomeVestors is diligent in protecting its trademarks. HomeVestors has owned and used the HOMEVESTORS®, WE BUY UGLY HOUSES®, the UG™ family of marks, and other proprietary trademarks continuously for many years. Over the years, HomeVestors has spent significant amounts of time and resources in developing its brand and maintaining the goodwill it has built in its trademarks.
Use by unaffiliated third-parties of the HomeVestors trademarks constitutes trademark infringement under Section 32(1) of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1114(a). Furthermore, use of the HomeVestors trademarks as part of domain names constitutes cyberpiracy under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 1125(d)(1) for which statutory damages can be awarded in the amount of $100,000 per domain name. Such violations are serious and cause consumers to be confused as to the source of the services offered under those trademarks. It allows competitors who employ such tactics to trade on and compromise the substantial goodwill that HomeVestors has built in its trademarks. In addition to trademark infringement under federal law, such actions constitute unfair competition under Texas Law.
About HomeVestors of America
Dallas-based HomeVestors of America, Inc. is the #1 buyer of houses in the U.S. The first franchise company of its kind, HomeVestors has been franchising since 1996. HomeVestors has about 200 franchises in 33 states. HomeVestors trains and supports franchisees that specialize in buying and rehabbing residential properties. Most commonly known as the “We Buy Ugly Houses” company, HomeVestors strives to make a positive impact in each community. In 2009, for the fourth consecutive year, HomeVestors was among the prestigious Franchise Business Review’s “Top 50 Franchises,” a distinction awarded to franchisors with the highest level of franchisee satisfaction. For more information, visit www.HomeVestors.com.