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Logo fight: Pressure forces Lee County business name change – The News

This story was printed in the Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, issue of The News-Press.

Just call Mark Joseph’s real estate business Foreclosures “Were” Us.

Joseph’s bright-green “Foreclosure Tours R Us” bus has been a familiar sight around Lee County for almost two years – showing foreclosures to prospective buyers.

But now he’s being forced by giant toy company Toys R Us to stop using the logo.

Toys R Us has been warning him since April that it’s copyright infringement. Joseph doesn’t agree, but says he can’t afford to defend himself in a threatened lawsuit. Including legal expenses, it will cost him about $25,000 just to surrender now.

That doesn’t mean he’s going out of business, however.

Within six months, the name of his Fort Myers-based real estate agency will have to change to “Marc Joseph Realty’s Foreclosure Bus Tour,” Joseph said Wednesday.

Joseph’s tours have attracted nationwide media attention, including segments on NBC’s “The Today Show” and ABC’s “Nightline.”

Toys R Us officials did not return phone calls Wednesday but a draft agreement sent to Joseph by the company’s corporate entity Geoffrey LLC requires him to stop using language and images too close to those used by the toy company.

According to the draft, that means “the name FORECLOSURE TOURS R US, or any other name incorporating (a) R US, (b) ARE US, (c) a reverse R, (d) single or double quotation marks around the letter ‘R,’ (e) balloon lettering that is similar to the font used by Geoffrey, (f) any combination of the colors red, orange, green, pink and yellow in a manner similar to the color combinations used by Geoffrey, (g) the image of a star, or any other of Geoffrey’s proprietary marks or designations (collectively the ‘TRU Marks’) which is otherwise confusingly similar to the TRU Marks, anywhere in the world.”

Joseph said he hopes his customers are still able to find his business once the name changes. “I’m hoping people gravitate to the color and the concept, because that’s all I’ve got left.”

 

 

Article source: https://www.news-press.com/story/archive/2018/02/06/logo-fight-pressure-forces-lee-county-business-name-change/310038002/

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