Winter Park real estate firms launch court battle over name, logo

Website screenshots of The Real Estate Co., left, and Real Estate of Winter Park.

Two real estate firms in Winter Park are tussling over which has rights to images of a nearby mountain in its logo and which can use “real estate” in its name.

The Real Estate Company, located at 21 Kings Crossing in Winter Park, claims it’s being badgered by similarly-named Real Estate of Winter Park to keep altering its name. In a lawsuit filed this week, it’s asking the court to rule that it can use generic photos of mountains and the right to generic terms such as “real estate.”

According to the lawsuit, filed by Denver attorney Susan Brushaber from Reinhardt, The Real Estate Co. opened in Grand County in June 2017. In February, Real Estate of Winter Park sent a letter to the new company demanding it stop using its name “The Real Estate Company-Winter Park” and “The Real Estate Company-Grand Lake.” The letter also asked the company to stop using a graphic of Parry Peak, the 13-er near Winter Park that the older firm also uses in its logo, claiming trademark infringement and damages.

The lawsuit claims The Real Estate Co. changed its name in April and also stopped using its logo on the website. But in April, Real Estate of Winter Park’s lawyer threatened to sue unless it stopped doing business under its changed name and stopped using its logo.

The Real Estate Co. also claims the terms and images are too generic for anyone to claim.

“To grant defendant a protectable interest in the generic term “Real Estate,” “Winter Park” and/or “Real Estate of Winter Park” would be anti-competitive and effectively grant defendant a monopoly to provide real estate services in the Winter Park/Grand Lake Region to the disadvantage of its competitors,” the lawsuit says.

It also states that 23 other businesses use the terms “Real Estate,” “Winter Park” and “Grand Lake” in their business names, and that neither company has exclusive rights to use Parry Peak in logos.

Real Estate of Winter Park, the defendant in the complaint, is located at P.O. Box 58, 78622 U.S. Highway 40 and has more than 20 brokers listed on its website. It has been in business since 2000, according to its LinkedIn page. The company has 6,470 properties listed on its website.

The Real Estate Co. has 583 property listings in Grand Lake, Winter Park, Granby and other towns on its website, and lists four brokers.

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