HomeVestors Victorious in Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

By Joseph Mandour on December 20, 2011

LawyerLos Angeles – HomeVestors of America, Inc. (HomeVestors), known for its registered trademark We Buy Ugly Houses was successful in a dispute regarding a Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy (UDRP). The UDRP complaint was filed before the National Arbitration Forum against Freedomsoft LLP, which will now have to the domain name www.webuyuglyhousesphoenix.com over to HomeVestors.

HomeVestors is the largest cash buyer of distressed properties in the United States. The company, which has over 200 franchisees in 33 states, purchases unattractive homes for cash, flipping them, and then selling or renting the rehabbed properties to investors, buyers, and tenants. Having capitalized on the We BUY UGLY HOUSES trademark, HomeVestors has been diligent in protecting its intellectual property against third parties that insist upon using its federally registered trademarks as part of their domain names and websites without the permission of HomeVestors.

In addition to committing trademark infringement, third parties who use the registered trademark in their domains are also committing cyber piracy under the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C., Section 1125(d)(1) for which statutory damages can be up to $100,000 for each domain infringed.

Since its most recent UDRP victory, HomeVestors has filed another UDRP complaint, for which it expects a decision before the end of the year. Over the past two years, the company has successfully had more than eight domain names transferred back to it that were illegally registered to third parties and has managed to disable many infringing websites and Facebook pages as well.

In a statement from the trademark attorney representing HomeVestors, he said, “All domain registrars are required to follow the UDRP. Under the UDRP, the dispute is resolved by an arbitration committee. If HomeVestors wins, it can elect to cancel, suspend, or transfer the domain name at issue. Many times we find cyber squatters who think that it is enough to add the name of a city along with the WE BUY UGLY HOUSES trademarks. It is very clear from past decisions that such modifications are not sufficient to avoid cyber squatting.”

No information was available as to whether any statutory damages were awarded to HomeVestors in this particular case.

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