Real Estate Informatin Network v. NAR®: Real Estate Information Network Settles Unfair Trade Practices Claim Against National Association of REALTORS®
Real Estate Information Network v. NAR®, involved an unfair trade practice claim by the Real Estate Information Network, Inc. a/k/a REIN against the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) as operator of the Real Estate Information Network a/k/a REINET. The parties settled the case for $2,500.
Real Estate Information Network, Inc. (REIN) was a New York corporation in the business of real estate data collection. They marketed and sold data for purposes of sales, purchases, and appraisals of real estate. REIN became aware that another entity was formed to engage in a similar business, and that the company, a division of NAR, had adopted the name of Real Estate Information Network or REINET (defendants). REIN requested that the defendants stop using the names Real Estate Information Network and REINET, but NAR refused to do so.
REIN alleged that the terms "Real Estate Information Network" and "RIEN" were well known throughout the real estate industry, both in the U.S. and abroad, for data collection and the sale of such data. REIN also alleged that the defendant's adoption of almost identical names in the conduct of a similar business was a violation of various state and federal laws. As for its unfair trade practice claim, REIN alleged that the adoption of these names was designed to confuse the public, to obtain business that would otherwise be obtained by REIN, and to damage and harm REIN's business. The complaint asked for a permanent injunction to prohibit the defendants from using the names Real Estate Information Network and REINET, and for $1.5 million in damages.
Prior to trial NAR® agreed to cease the use of the names Real Estate Information Network and REINET, and paid REIN $2,500 to settle the litigation.
Real Estate Information Network v. NAR®, (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Rockland County, 1987). [Note: This opinion was not published in an official reporter and therefore should not be cited as authority. Please consult counsel before relying on this opinion.]