WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Express Homebuyers USA, a Virginia-based company that has purchased and rehabilitated over 2,100 homes, today filed suit against WBH Marketing, Inc. and its founder and CEO Jeremy Brandt.
The lawsuit seeks cancellation of WBH’s U.S. trademark registration for the widely-used phrase “We Buy Houses.” Express Homebuyers contends that “We Buy Houses” is a common and generic phrase that has been used in the real estate industry for decades.
Since 2003, Express Homebuyers has used the phrase “We Buy Houses” to describe its services—buying houses. In 2001, WBH’s predecessor applied to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for exclusive rights to the phrase for printed real estate materials. The application was approved with, what Express Homebuyers believes to have been false and misleading information submitted by WBH’s predecessor about the mark’s alleged distinctiveness and market usage.
Despite knowing the limits of its trademark and Express Homebuyers’ extensive prior use, WBH began a campaign in July 2016 against Express’ use of the phrase online. WBH filed complaints with YouTube, alleging that approximately 91 of Express Homebuyers’ advertising videos violated WBH’s rights in its purported trademarks. YouTube removed all 91 videos based on these assertions.
Express Homebuyers is fighting back. Even though it never legitimately possessed the rights to the phrase, WBH has “shaken down” dozens of real estate businesses across the country, says the complaint. “We want to put a stop to it once and for all,” says Express Homebuyers CEO Brad Chandler.
Express Homebuyers is represented by Joseph J. Aronica, Ugo Colella, Nicole K. McLaughlin, and John J. Zefutie, Jr. of Duane Morris LLP. Direct all inquiries to Ugo Colella at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Express Homebuyers (www.ExpressHomebuyers.com)
Founded by Brad Chandler and Jud Allen, Express Homebuyers has been a pioneer in hassle-free home buying since 2003. Express Homebuyers purchases homes in Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland quickly, at a fair price and without expensive broker fees or closing costs. Using a simple three-step process, Express Homebuyers has helped hundreds of homeowners sell their homes quickly.
About Duane Morris
Duane Morris LLP provides innovative solutions to today’s legal and business challenges through the collaborative culture of its more than 750 attorneys in offices across the United States and internationally.