Re/Max removes its opposition to Rehava logo
2009/03/13, 7:33 pm
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Re/Max International has dropped its opposition to the trademark registration of Rehava, a real estate company that opened last year in North Charleston.

Denver-based Re/Max had filed opposition to the Rehava logo through an administrative process with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, saying the mark was similar to its own. In a statement released Thursday, Re/Max officials said public opinion and input from local Re/Max agents led to the decision.

“Re/Max International has always sought to protect its brand and logo in the name of all its franchisees and affiliates,” the company said in a statement. “In this case, local Re/Max broker-owners and affiliates felt that no conflict or threat existed. Considering their opinion and public response, Re/Max International decided that the best course of action was to drop opposition to the Rehava trademark.”

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Re/Max officials filed a document Wednesday with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to withdraw opposition to the trademark registration, officials said.

“Re/Max recognizes that real estate competition in Charleston will benefit the public interest of the entire community,” the statement said.

Rehava owner Steve deGuzman said he was ecstatic early Thursday morning when he found out about Re/Max’s decision, which he learned about via documents mailed overnight from the company.

“I was really happy that they were so professional in their diligence and follow-up,” deGuzman said.

DeGuzman said he was surprised at the public response to news reports on Re/Max’s opposition to his logo. Earlier this week, local news stories on the matter were picked up by blogs and media nationwide.

“I have never seen something take off so quickly,” deGuzman said. “It was obvious that it struck a chord. If this isn’t Web 2.0, I don’t know what is.”

Doug Kim, attorney for deGuzman, said it is rare to see a company opposing a trademark back off so quickly. The opposition notice was filed Feb. 18.

“This is a very unusual situation,” Kim said.

The logo issue was not the only controversy in which Rehava has been involved since opening last summer. Rehava also caused controversy among some local real estate agents with its recent advertising campaign suggesting that buyers “break up” with their real estate agents and switch to Rehava, which offers half of the agent’s commission as a rebate to the buyer.

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