Regulations

San Diego brokerage claims referral site violates its trademarks

Ascentrealestate.com refers traffic to ZipRealty.com

Don't miss the real estate event of the summer
Join 4,000 real estate pros at Connect SF, Aug 7‑11, 2017

A San Diego-based brokerage with 123 sales agents is trying to stop a domain that incorporates the brokerage’s name from being used as a referral site to direct traffic to ZipRealty.com. Ascent Real Estate Inc. claims Emeryville, Calif.-based ZipRealty and the Web developer that owns the domain, ascentrealestate.com, are infringing on the company’s trademarks. The Web developer — Santa Rosa, Calif.-based Electronic Creations Corp. — has filed suit against Ascent Real Estate in the hopes of obtaining a ruling that it has not infringed on the brokerage’s trademarks or violated the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act. In its complaint, ECC says it’s owned the domain ascentrealestate.com for more than 13 years — long before Ascent Real Estate registered the domain name of the website it uses to market itself to consumers, ascentrealestate.net. Visitors who search for property on ascentrealestate.com, or click on “find an agent” or home valuation links a...