Industry News

Real estate titans clash over trademark use

LendingTree scores one in continuing court battle with Cendant

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LendingTree officials announced Thursday that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed a preliminary injunction that had prohibited the company from using certain real estate brand names affiliated with Cendant Corp. -- including Century 21, Coldwell Banker and ERA -- in marketing its own real estate broker network. "Our use of these names accurately describes members of our network," Doug Lebda, CEO for LendingTree LLC, said in a statement. "The court of appeals' decision supports our point of view that we acted in a lawful, fair, clear and accurate manner." Mark Panus, a Cendant Corp. spokesman, said, "We don't comment on matters of pending litigation." In June 2003, Century 21 Real Estate Corp., Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp. and ERA Franchise Systems filed a lawsuit alleging trademark infringement. The Cendant companies charged that LendingTree's use of the Cendant-affiliated brand names on its Web site could lead to consumer confusion about the affiliation of t...