EXp Realty announced it was expanding to New York City just a few weeks ago and the virtual cloud real estate brokerage already received its first welcome present – a lawsuit from a commercial brokerage with a similar name.
EXP Realty Advisors filed a lawsuit in United States District Court for the Southern District Of New York on June 24, alleging false advertisement, trademark infringement and unfair competition against eXp Realty. The former describes itself as a “boutique investment sales business specializing in selling, leasing, and exchanging commercial real estate properties nationally,” in the complaint.
At the center of the complaint, which was first reported by The Real Deal, EXP Realty Advisors says eXp Realty’s use of its logo, business name and similar domain names are likely to “cause mistake, or to deceive as to the affiliation, connection, or association of [eXp Realty] or [eXp Realty’s] goods or commercial activities with [EXP Realty Advisors] or [EXP Realty Advisors’] goods or commercial activities.”
In fact, EXP Realty Advisors included in the complaint, an email from a real estate agent looking to join eXp Realty in New York, that was sent to EXP Realty Advisors in error.
EXP Realty Advisors alleges in the complaint that an individual named Robert Creamer, who identified himself as an eXp Realty employee, told EXP Realty Advisors that eXp Realty was planning to launch a commercial division and inquired about acquiring the name eXp Commercial from the company.
“Despite being aware of the [EXP Realty Advisors] marks, including specifically the use of “EXP” in connection with commercial real estate services, [eXp Realty] have continued their use of confusingly similar marks, and in fact have begun to use such marks in connection with commercial real estate services,” the complaint reads.
EXP Realty Advisors is seeking damages and asking for the court to order all, “labels, packaging, wrappers, signs, prints, banners, posters, brochures, social media posts, or any other advertising, marketing, or other promotional materials bearing [eXp Realty’s] or any mark that is a colorable imitation thereof or otherwise confusingly similar thereto be destroyed or deleted.”
EXp Realty announced its expansion into New York City on June 4, tapping longtime Corcoran vet Matt Parrella to oversee brokerage operations in all five boroughs.
The virtual cloud-based real estate brokerage, whose parent company eXp World Holdings is publicly traded, recently surpassed the 20,000 agent milestone.
EXp Realty did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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