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Sample Letters

Misuse by a Member with a Descriptive Word or Phrase

Unauthorized Use by a Member with a Non-Real-Estate Business

Misuse by a Member in Connection with Member’s Firm Name

Unauthorized Use by a Former Member

Unauthorized Use by a Non-Member

Unauthorized Use on Products

Improper Contextual Use in Email Solicitation

Improper Contextual Use in Publication

Improper Form Used in Publication


Misuse by a Member with a Descriptive Word or Phrase

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Misuse of the REALTOR® trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name], it has been brought to my attention that you are misusing the REALTOR® marks in connection with [Insert description of where the misuse appears].

As a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), you are licensed to use the REALTOR® marks subject to the terms and conditions set forth in NAR’s Constitution and Bylaws and in accordance with the policies and guidelines adopted by NAR (collectively, “trademark rules”).

NAR’s trademark rules expressly prohibit members from using descriptive words or phrases in connection with the REALTOR® marks. Since you are using the REALTOR® trademark in connection with a descriptive word or phrase, such use is improper and must cease promptly.

As a member of NAR, and therefore someone who understands the importance of protecting and promoting our valuable marks, we are confident that you will discontinue your unauthorized use of the marks, and request that you promptly provide us with your written assurance that you will comply with this request by [Insert date by which written assurance must be received].

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We look forward to receiving your early reply.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Unauthorized Use by a Member with a Non-Real-Estate Business

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Unauthorized Use of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name], it has been brought to my attention that you are misusing the REALTOR® marks in connection with [Insert description of where the misuse appears].

As a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), you are licensed to use the REALTOR® marks subject to the terms and conditions set forth in NAR’s Constitution and Bylaws and in accordance with the policies and guidelines adopted by NAR (collectively, “trademark rules”).

These trademark rules prohibit use of the REALTOR® marks by members in any manner or for any activities other than in connection with the member’s real estate business. According to Article III, Section I of the NAR Constitution, the term "real estate business" includes: real estate brokerage, management, appraising, land development, or building. Since [Insert description of how the MARK is being misused] does not fall within this definition, your use of the REALTOR® trademark in connection with such business is unauthorized and must cease promptly.

As a member of NAR, and therefore someone who understands the importance of protecting and promoting our valuable marks, we are confident that you will discontinue your unauthorized use of the marks, and request that you promptly provide us with your written assurance that you will comply with this request by [Insert date by which written assurance must be received].

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We look forward to receiving your early reply.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Misuse by a Member in Connection with Member’s Firm Name

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Misuse of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name], it has been brought to my attention that you are misusing the REALTOR® marks in connection with [Insert description of where the misuse appears].

As a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), you are licensed to use the REALTOR® marks subject to the terms and conditions set forth in NAR’s Constitution and Bylaws and in accordance with the policies and guidelines adopted by NAR (collectively, “trademark rules”).

NAR’s trademark rules prohibit members from incorporating, registering, adopting, or using a business name that includes the term REALTOR® or REALTORS®. These marks may be used in connection with, but not as part of, your firm name. Therefore, they must be separated by punctuation from your firm name. For example, Smith Realty, REALTORS®, properly uses a REALTOR® trademark in connection with, but not as part of, the firm name, “Smith Realty.”

As a member of NAR, and therefore someone who understands the importance of protecting and promoting our valuable marks, we are confident that you will discontinue your unauthorized use of the marks, and request that you promptly provide us with your written assurance that you will comply with this request by [Insert date by which written assurance must be received].

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We look forward to receiving your early reply.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Unauthorized Use by a Former Member

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Unauthorized Use of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name], it has been brought to my attention that you continue to use the REALTOR® trademark although you are no longer a member of our Board.

Membership in the Board of REALTORS® is entirely voluntary and while we sincerely hope you will rejoin the Board, we respect your right to choose not to do so at this time. However, at the same time, we must ask you to respect our rights in the marks we use to identify individuals as members.

As you know the, terms REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and the REALTOR® Logo are federally registered collective membership marks owned exclusively by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). As such, these marks may only be used by members of NAR and the local Board. Your unauthorized use is an infringement of NAR’s legal right. Your use is also misleading and therefore may be a violation of the state real estate license laws.

We request that you immediately discontinue your use of the REALTOR® marks, including use of any designation offered by a REALTOR® affiliated organization, until such time as you become a member in good standing of the local Board and NAR. This includes removing REALTOR®, REALTORS®, the REALTOR® Logo, and any REALTOR® designations from your marketing materials, including websites, domain names, social media, advertisements, business supplies, stationery, brochures, and business cards. If you are a principal in your firm, then please ensure that each of your licensees also complies with this request.

Please provide us with your written assurance that you will comply with this request by [Insert date by which written assurance must be received].

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We look forward to receiving your early reply.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Unauthorized Use by a Non-Member

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Unauthorized Use of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name], it has been brought to my attention that you are using the REALTOR® trademark in connection with your business despite the fact that, according to our records, you are not a Member of this board or of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR).

The terms REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and the REALTOR® Logo are federally registered collective membership marks owned exclusively by NAR. The marks serve the singular function of identifying and distinguishing members of NAR from all other persons engaged in real estate activities. They are licensed for exclusive use by such members as a means of indicating their membership.

Since you are not a member of our board and your office is located in our jurisdiction, it is our responsibility to advise you that you are not entitled to use [Insert appropriate term REALTOR®, REALTORS®; REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®; or the REALTOR® Logo] in connection with your business and request that you immediately cease doing so.

If you wish to apply for membership, whereby you would become authorized to use the REALTOR® marks pursuant to NAR’s rules, we would be most happy to provide you with information regarding application procedures. Unless such application is submitted and membership approved by our Board of Directors, however, your use of the marks is unauthorized and must be discontinued.

Please provide us with your written assurance that you will comply with this request by [Insert date by which written assurance must be received].

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. We look forward to receiving your early reply.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Unauthorized Use on Products

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Unauthorized Use of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name], it has been brought to my attention that you have imprinted the term [Insert appropriate term REALTOR®, REALTORS®; REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®; or the REALTOR® Logo] on [Insert description of the product on which the infringing use appears (e.g. T-Shirts)] that are produced and distributed by your firm and you have not, to our knowledge, been authorized to do so

The terms REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and the REALTOR® Logo are federally registered collective membership marks owned exclusively by NAR. These marks serve the singular function of identifying and distinguishing members of NAR from all other persons engaged in real estate activities. They are licensed for use by such members as a means of indicating their membership status.

Your use of the marks constitutes an infringement of NAR’s exclusive rights therein unless you have been properly licensed to use the marks. In the absence of such license, we request that you immediately refrain from any further use of the marks, including any and all production, distribution, or sale of any products bearing the marks. We will appreciate receiving your prompt written assurance that you intend to comply with our request.

Please provide us with your written assurance that you will comply with this request by [Insert date by which written assurance must be received].

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Improper Contextual Use in Email Solicitation

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Misuse of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name], it has been brought to my attention that you are using the REALTOR® trademark in connection with an email solicitation offering your products and/or services. Your use of the REALTOR® trademark is improper and unauthorized, so we request that such use promptly cease.

The terms REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, and the REALTOR® Logo are federally registered collective membership marks owned exclusively by the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR). These marks serve the singular function of identifying and distinguishing members of NAR from all other persons engaged in real estate activities. These marks are licensed for exclusive use by such members as a means of indicating their membership.

In your email solicitation, you use the term REALTOR® not to identify a person as a member of NAR, but as a synonym for real estate agent or broker. The term REALTOR® should never be used interchangeably with the terms “real estate broker,” “broker,” or “real estate agent,” or in any other context which suggests that a person who deals in real estate is a REALTOR® without regard to his or her membership in NAR.

Your use of the REALTOR® marks is unauthorized and may cause confusion as to NAR’s approval, endorsement, or sponsorship of your product or service.

Please remove the term REALTOR® from the email solicitation and any other relevant materials you maintain. On behalf of all of our members, we appreciate your respect for the proper use of the REALTOR® trademark in your solicitations to those involved in the real estate business.

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Improper Contextual Use in Publication

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Misuse of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

The [Insert Member Board name] appreciates your service to the public and the real estate industry as a respected source of real estate news. You can understand our surprise and disappointment to see that the REALTOR® trademark was incorrectly used in your [Insert description of publication in which the improper form appears – including title, date, issue, and link, if appropriate].

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name],  I want to take this opportunity to remind you that the term “REALTOR®” is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

Since REALTOR® is a registered mark and serves this special identifying function, it should be used only in reference to real estate professionals who are members of NAR. The term REALTOR® should never be used interchangeably with the terms “real estate broker,” “broker,” or “real estate agent,” or in any other context which suggests that a person who deals in real estate is a REALTOR® without regard to his or her membership in NAR.

In the future, please capitalize the term REALTOR® in the manner specified in the AP and UPI style books and continue to use it only when referring to members of NAR. If you require any assistance in determining if a particular person is a member of NAR, please consult NAR’s member directory available at: http://www.realtor.org/directories.

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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Improper Form Used in Publication

Download this sample letter (MS Word, 35 KB)

RE:          Misuse of the REALTOR® Trademark

Dear Sir/Madam:

The [Insert Member Board name] appreciates your service to the public and the real estate industry as a respected source of real estate news. You can understand our surprise and disappointment to see that the REALTOR® trademark was not properly capitalized in your [Insert description of publication in which the improper form appears – including title, date, issue, and link, if appropriate].

As [Insert appropriate title (President, CEO, Association Executive, etc.)] of the [Insert Member Board name],  I want to take this opportunity to remind you that the term “REALTOR®” is a federally registered collective membership mark which identifies real estate professionals who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR) and subscribe to its strict Code of Ethics.

Since REALTOR® is a registered mark and serves this special identifying function, it should be used only in reference to real estate professionals who are members of NAR and should never be used to refer to real estate brokers, agents, or professionals in general. The mark REALTOR® should also be distinguished from words of ordinary use by capitalization.

In the future, please capitalize the term REALTOR® in the manner specified in the AP and UPI style books and continue to use it only when referring to members of NAR. If you require any assistance in determining if a particular person is a member of NAR, please consult NAR’s member directory available at: http://www.realtor.org/directories.

For more information, visit http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules and view a brief, animated video explaining proper use of the REALTOR® trademarks.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

[Signature of Officer]

cc:           NAR Trademark Protection Coordinator (trademark@realtors.org)

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