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Re/Max LLC sues North Carolina brokerage over red, white and blue signage

Global franchisor alleges brokerage's real estate color scheme violates trademark

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Denver-based global franchisor Re/Max LLC is suing a North Carolina brokerage for alleged trademark infringement and unfair competition. In a complaint filed Dec. 28 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Re/Max filed suit against Atlantic Beach, N.C.-based Alan Shelor Real Estate Inc. and Alan Shelor, the brokerage's founder, owner and broker-in-charge. Alan Shelor Real Estate is a six-agent company that serves North Carolina's Crystal Coast and has been in business since 1985, according to its website. The brokerage declined to comment for this story. Re/Max alleges Shelor and his brokerage violated several federal trademark registrations for a group of service marks the franchisor called "Re/Max Marks." The main service mark referenced consists of a rectangular sign displaying three horizontal bars colored red, white and blue, in order, from top to bottom. Re/Max and its affiliates have been connected to the mark since at least January ...