REA Group recently lodged a trademark application for the term “realestate.com” and came under fire from industry groups and the REIA, who says members already feel they are being “squeezed by this company’s tactics,” according to REIA CEO Amanda Lynch.
Ms Lynch said if this trademark were approved it could harm or negatively impact many small businesses, and allowing a company to trademark a generic term would unfairly hamper competition.
“REA once again appears to be making a technical grab for control of those things that belong to the industry at large. It has in the past tried to prohibit others from using the words ‘real estate’ in their domain names," she said.
“It is a totally unnecessary move by REA Group that not only does nothing to instil sector confidence in REA Group but also results in businesses having to waste time on lodgement fees with IP Australia as well as lawyers.
“It is very simple to see why many businesses are concerned by the actions of a large corporation over such a generic term. If this trademark is approved then it could harm or negatively impact on many small businesses,” Ms Lynch said.
The opposition period to REA Group’s trademark application ended in late August. Nine businesses lodged an objection, including ABCRealEstate, Martin Morris & Jones, First National Group of Independent Real Estate Agents, Professionals Global, the Real Estate Institutes of Victoria and WA, Fairfax Digital and Realestateview.com.au.