Broker accused of hitching a ride on 'Pure Michigan' ad campaign

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Pure Michigan Real Estate Inc. registered an Internet domain in 2010, created a Facebook page in April 2012 and incorporated in February 2013.

Trouble is that the Michigan Economic Development Corp., a “quasi-state agency,” has held a federally registered trademark since 2006 for its “Pure Michigan” national ad campaign, promoting the state as a tourist destination.

MEDC has approved 450 companies to use the “Pure Michigan” logo in their advertising, but Gary G. Gillim’s Lapeer County-based brokerage is not among them. Now Gillim’s facing a lawsuit alleging he infringed on MEDC’s trademark.

University of Detroit Mercy marketing professor Michael Bernacchi tells the Detroit News that Gillim may end up benefiting from publicity that the lawsuit generates.

“This guy is just hosing the Pure Michigan campaign and squeezing it for all he can,” Bernacchi told the newspaper. “This guy is on his hands and knees begging the Pure Michigan folks to come after him.” Source: detroitnews.com