Do the two logos look similar to you? They do, according to the trademark attorneys of Re/Max, a national real estate franchise. They're challenging the trademark application of a real estate startup Rehava, which has a new commission structure that is different than the established culture:
Adam Scoville, Re/Max's legal counsel, said he can explain.
First of all, both names start with "r" and have logos with accent lines near the letter "e," he said.
"It goes beyond that," Scoville added. "If you chop the top off of the 'h,' you (almost) have the 'm' in Re/Max. The next letter is an 'a,' and if you take the 'v' then you have half of an 'x.' "
Steve deGuzman, Rehava's broker-in-charge, said he doesn't buy it. He said the trademark challenge is harassment and a form of corporate bullying that will cost his firm thousands of dollars.
"It's a huge distraction, particularly for a startup and also in this kind of a market," deGuzman said.
He suspects the Colorado-based franchise is challenging the trademarkbecause of Rehava's controversial commission rebates, which some in the industry see as a threat to traditional compensation standards.