Cease and Desist

cry baby

Well, it took a whopping 2 business days to receive a comment and then an email from the good folks at redfin.  Eric Heller, director of marketing, just informed me (very kindly) that Redfin Corp. owns the words (and numbers) Real Estate 2.0

Here is the email:



Thanks for your quick response.  You may have seen that we had a competition back in April for a new tagline:

[Read Here]

The winner got $500 and we got the rights to a new tagline, which we trademarked and have been using in commerce since June, 2006.  The tagline, Real Estate 2.0, is now a registered trademark of the Redfin Corporation, which you can research at: http://tess2.uspto.gov/bin/gate.exe?f=searchss&state=kpe5ta.1.1.  (I’ve included the results of a search on their site below for your convenience.)

While we recognize the right for your blog to exist and look forward to many future posts from a long-overdue blog on new technology real estate sites, we’d like to respectfully ask that you change the name to a term that does not infringe on our mark.

Thanks for your understanding and quick action on this.

Eric Heller
Director of Marketing
Redfin.com – Find, Buy and Sell Homes Online


As you can see, Eric seems like a very nice guy, he was sure to use just enough lube.  He could have been much nastier – but he really does seem like a good guy.

So, since I cannot use Real Estate 2.0 as the name of my blog any longer (I will change it within 24 hours), I have decided to have my own contest. 

Unfortunately, I will not be able to offer a $500 grand prize (I do not have $8M to give away), but I will share the trademark with you (If you pay for the trademark).

I do not think Redfin owns Real Estate 2 0 or Real Estate 2..0 or Real Estate Two Point Oh…so…

Please send suggestions to: realestate20@gmail.com (or better yet – leave a comment)

Thanks for your help.


68 Responses to “Cease and Desist”

  1. Greg Swann Says:

    You can have Realtor 2.0, except the NAR will come and get you, too.

  2. Welcome to the machine . . . | BloodhoundBlog | The weblog of BloodhoundRealty.com in Phoenix, Arizona Says:

    […] Redfin asserts itself. You were saying…? […]

  3. Richard Johnston Says:

    Postpone a response for a year. They’ll be out of business by then.

  4. marc Says:

    real estate 2.0.1 (a “patch” of 2.0)
    real estate 3.0 (a completely new version)

  5. Jim Cronin Says:

    RedfinIsAPieceOfShit 2.0
    RedfinBlows 2.0
    ShoveItUpYourRedfin 2.0


    Real Estate 2.o (that’s o, not 0)

  6. Kevin Says:

    How about “The blog formerly known as Real Estate 2.0”

  7. Joel Burslem Says:

    I like real estate 2.0.1

  8. Doug Says:

    If you are going to be sued, get sued by the big boys and get some national media. Change your name to McReal Estate. Then add categories such as McHouse and really get McD’s wound up.

    Another possibility is Unreal Estate 2.0
    You could be the UnBlog

    I’ve won and I want a Big Mac and a 7-up; to go

  9. Greg Says:

    Real Estate Blog 2.0
    Redfin 2.0
    Real Estate 2.0hhh
    Give me a break with your stupid intellectual property rights 2.0
    Everybody’s a victim 2.0
    (Real Estate) 2.0
    Real-Estate 2.0
    Read my 2.0
    Real Estate 2.0 (you’ll never catch me coppers!)

  10. Kevin Says:

    Is this another publicity stunt to get the real estate bloggin community all riled up? It’s interesting that Redfin would try to enforce intellectual property rights on the one hand, while simultaneously breaching several MLS rules about what data you’re allowed to publicly display.

  11. Cathleen Collins Says:

    Good observation, Kevin.
    How about Real Estate Beyond 2.0? I like Real Estate 2.0.1 or Real Estate 2.1, too.

  12. Andrew Hodge Says:

    I like that Real Estate Beyond 2.0, I think it seems to cover your blogs purpose. Realtor 2.0 probably wouldn’t have the NAR coming after you as long as you are a registered Realtor® and you are not putting down the Realtor® title. Real Estate 2.0.1 also work and you would only have to change the on page titles since your URL is not realestate2.0/… but realestate20/…

    Or you could you could call it Real Estate 20 (stick the “.” where ever you care to)

  13. 360Digest » Real Estate 2.0 ™ Says:

    […] Less than 24 hours later, the author of that blog shared a letter he received from Eric Heller, the director of marketing at Redfin, asking him to stop using the tagline, Real Estate 2.0, as it is now a registered trademark of the Redfin Corporation. […]

  14. Anthony Says:

    Make them come get you, hehe

  15. Seattle Real Estate News Says:

    Real Estate 2.0

    Marlow, owner of the 360 Digest blog and a fellow blogger at the Seattle Real Estate Professionals blog over the Seattle P-I site, turned me on to a new blog that is focusing on Web 2.0 real estate companies. As…

  16. Joseph Ferrara.sellsius Says:

    For more on trademark law, read our post (link below) The legal test is “substantially similar” to another mark to create a “likelihood of confusion” for consumers of the source. But there’s a lot more to it. The stronger the mark, the more protection. The weaker the mark (possibly redfins), the less protection. You can have same trademark if different class of goods or services. Some terms you cannot claim trademark protection for & they may include “real estate” . Sometimes disclaimers work, eg. “not affiliated with Redfin”—ask if they’ll let you off w/ a disclaimer (they get to have their brand name on your blog).
    Registration gives only a presumption of ownership. Not an open and shut case though on its face it appears tough. One thing clear though, refuse & you are on page 1. As the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Boy did you stir the waters.


  17. Joseph Ferrara.sellsius Says:

    PS: IMHO 2.X is MUCH better anyway. Everything is 2.0. Necessity is the mother of invention.

  18. CribHits Says:

    The O’Reilly of Real Estate.

  19. Joseph Ferrara.sellsius Says:

    Have you seen the latest news?

  20. Real Estate 2.0 Renaming Ceremony « real estate 2.x Says:

    […] I received a ton of great ideas for the re-naming of the real estate 2.0 blog – thank you all very much for participating in the contest!  You can see most of the entries here. […]

  21. Robert Coté Says:

    The TESS system says it is a service mark not a trademark. You should sue Redfin for their false claims.

  22. Joseph Ferrara.sellsius Says:

    A service mark applies to services & a trademark applies to goods. But legally the same degree of protection.

  23. RealEstate2.com.au Says:

    Hey Redfin,

    Don’t forget to lodge a trademark application here in Australia!

    Here’s the link…http://www.ipaustralia.gov.au/trademarks/

    I think there was a realestate2.0 blog in Brazil as well……., and the UK……, and…..

    Kind regards,
    The Australian readers of real estate 2.x

  24. Phoenix Rudner Says:

    Redfin is on a publicity blitz, anyway they can get people riled up and talking about them because they aren’t doing very well in real estate. Keep the name, they have no right to it!

  25. Mortgage 2.0 Says:

    Watch out wells fargo was considering the same name…but those dumb muther fuckers will probably screw it up. They suck anyway.

  26. Petition 2.0 « real estate 2.x Says:

    […] As you all know, a couple of days ago Redfin asked me to change the name of this two-day old, free, non-commercial, non-revenue generating wordpress blog.  Eric Heller, the director of marketing, felt that the original title of my blog – real estate 2.0 – infringed on Redfin’s real estate brokerage service mark – so I changed the name of the blog to real estate 2.x within 24 hours of receiving his request. […]

  27. blog.mattgoyer.com » Trademarks Says:

    […] Some folks are open in arms about a trademark of Redfin’s. I find this slightly humourous because the tech blogger echo chamber has already gone through this once before. September 19th 2006 Posted to Random […]

  28. Clique Communications: Online Community Marketing through Corporate Weblogs, Podcasts, and Internet Communities » Blog Archive » A Creative Commons Version of Trademark Says:

    […] Also, unlike the web 2.0 debacle and a new trademark issue over Real Estate 2.0 (pointed out by my mate Jon of Australian Blogs), which is even more farcical, TechCrunch isn’t just a generic term we all expect to use. […]

  29. Matrix » Carnival Of Real Estate Enters The Matrix Says:

    […] Cease and Desist [Real Estate 2.X] gives us a good chuckly and a whole new way to name our blogs. […]

  30. Three Oceans Real Estate» Blog Archive » Heat maps #1 Says:

    […] September 19th, 2006 by Kevin I’ll have to cross my fingers that Zillow hasn’t taken a page from Redfin’s book and trademarked the phrase “Heat maps.” I’ll take my chances… I’ve been using Microsoft MapPoint for nearly three years now to present real estate data to my clients in an intuitive format. Exhibit 1: Schools and neighborhood income The little peach-and-yellow pie circles represent schools, with the amount of peach shading indicating that school’s academic performance (as measured by the API index) compared to all other California schools. […]

  31. Three Oceans Real Estate» Blog Archive » Redfin’s Fins Emerge Says:

    […] September 18th, 2006 by Kevin Thanks to Greg Swann for pointing this out…seems the temporary ceasefire between Redfin and other real estate players has fizzled out! […]

  32. Hotels.com is Generic Term Rules Trademark Appeals Board at sellsius° real estate blog Says:

    […] Remember the scare blogger Real Estate 2.x {x+0} f/k/a Real Estate 2.0 got from Redfin’s Cease & Desist Letter? I’m no fortune teller, but if the recent Trademark Trial & Appeal Board (TTB) decision against the Hotels.com trademark application (Serial No. 76414272) is any indication, the term “real estate” will be deemed “generic” and require a disclaimer of exclusive rights to its use. […]

  33. Three Oceans Real Estate» Blog Archive » Redfin’s Fins Emerge Says:

    […] Thanks to Greg Swann for pointing this out…seems the temporary ceasefire between Redfin and other real estate players has fizzled out! Redfin has asked — very politely — a fellow real estate blogger to stop using the name “Real Estate 2.0″ because…they’ve patented that name. In the year 2006, can you really trademark the tag, “Real Estate 2.0″, especially if you 1) have bought Google Adwords for all your competitors’ names… 2) display data on sold properties on your web site despite MLS regulations to the contrary… […]

  34. Armchair Lawyer Says:

    Just because a trademark is registered doesn’t mean it is legally enforceable. It is nearly the same as a person putting a TM beside any 3 words and submitting it. The real litmus test is if they have to enforce it or someone challenges it. Then the substantive quality of the trademark will be put to the test.

    Registration is largely just a procedural matter to crystallize the date in time the alleged trademark is used. It has a few advantages if you choose to litigate. However, it does work effectively hitting up guys who may not understand the law and assume the listing with the USPTO is the end of the road. Registration is basically a tax on the unaware and uneducated…it is a hand you bluff with.

  35. kermit johnson Says:

    How about “Realty 2.0” or “Real estate agent 2.0” or “FedRin” or “RedFlipper” or “Bluefin”

  36. Johnson Says:

    “Richard Johnston Says:

    September 18th, 2006 at 8:36 pm
    “Postpone a response for a year. They’ll be out of business by then.”

    Well, October is here, and Redfin is still around. Have you bought your house through Redfin yet?

  37. Australian real estate Says:

    Kudos to armchair lawyer who summed up the true state of play. In Australia , we would put it this way. Redfin are true bullshit artists.

    The alternate names gave me a good old chuckle and though the contest is finished may I add some

    web benaud ( only aussies will understand this reference but the term would be synonymous with web tew )

    web 2 b or not 2 b ( apologies to shakespeare ) would most likely end up as webnot2b because of the vevil Redfin

    web 2 and a bit

    web 2 little 2 late

  38. International Real Estate Says:

    I like Real Estate 2.0.1

  39. william joe Says:

    Interesting fact: This has been due to the sub prime crisis in the United States, increasing volatility in the share and financial markets and investors such as fund managers requiring higher returns. Nice Site by the way.

  40. Maryland Real Estate Blog » Real Estate Marketing Revolution? Says:

    […] but admiration of entrepreneurs of all stripes, including the folks at RedFin, they have taken the annoying step of trademarking “Real Estate 2.0,” which is such an unoriginal idea in the larger […]

  41. jmarkbangerter Says:

    The agent on their front page is ugly too. Almost makes me not want to work in real estate anymore. Your could use
    Reel Estate 2.0
    Real eState 2.0
    Why don’t you just put it back to Real Estate 2.0. They might not even find you again. Did they actually send you a legal “cease and desist”? That letter came from their marketing department, not the legal department.
    I found on GoDaddy REALESTATETWOPOINTOH.COM is available! But not realestate2point0.com. So maybe you could own the URL and then sell it to RedFin for a large sum of money.

  42. jmarkbangerter Says:

    The minimum bid for realestate2point0.com is $59.00. http://realestate2point0.com/

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  45. InsefeItecy Says:

    Excellent site realestate20.wordpress.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here: this .. as it’s taken me literally 1 hours and 26 minutes of searching the web to find you (just kidding!) so I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor 🙂

  46. Real Estate web 2.0 « Andy’s Blog Says:

    […] and Zillow are among the best known.  Redfin even had the guts (or audacity?) to trademark “Real Estate 2.0“.  Not sure how well that trademark will hold up over […]

  47. sydney removals Says:

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  49. Paul Murphy Says:

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