Have you ever wanted to use “REALTOR®” in your marketing materials but weren’t sure how? Do you find yourself confused by CREA’s rules and policies? Are you tired of being nagged by CREA’s in-house counsel to fix trademark misuses? If you answered yes to any of these questions then I have good news for you! CREA’s Board of Directors recently approved changes to CREA’s trademark rules and policies to make use of the REALTOR® mark easier. The bad news is that I am utterly unable to summarize these changes in one blog post so make sure you don’t miss part two of this series next week.
Let’s start with the form rule. This rule states that REALTOR® must be displayed in exactly the form required by its registration. Here’s how we changed that rule.
- You can use lower case letters in subsequent uses.
The previous policy required REALTOR® to always appear in all capital letters followed by the registered trademark symbol. The new policy only requires that form for the first use in any publication. Subsequent uses can appear as Realtor—with only the letter “R” capitalized and omitting the registered trademark symbol (®).
- You can use modifiers.
Our old rules prohibited the use of modifiers with REALTOR®. The new policy allows the use of modifiers, provided that REALTOR® appears in all capital letters. For example, usage of “Professional REALTOR®” or “Toronto REALTOR®” would now be allowed.
- You can use REALTOR® in a corporate name.
Our old rules prohibited the use of REALTOR® in a firm name. The new policy allows REALTOR® to be used in firm or team names as long as three conditions are met:
- The proposed name is approved by CREA;
- The member enters into a license agreement with CREA before using the name;
- REALTOR® must appear in all capital letters whenever it is used in the name.
These are two exceptions to the rule that REALTOR® does not have to be in all capital letters in subsequent uses. All uses of REALTOR® with modifiers or in corporate names must be capitalized. However, when capitalizing REALTOR® pursuant to these exceptions, the registered trademark symbol does not have to be used in subsequent uses.
- You can choose what trademark statement you use.
We used to require all uses of REALTOR® to be accompanied by the following: “The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.”
The new policy allows members to use that statement or one of four alternatives:
- Not every real estate agent is a REALTOR®. Only REALTORS® are members of CREA.
- I’m more than a real estate agent. I’m a REALTOR®.
- What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®? Visit CREA.ca/why to find out.
- REALTOR®. Member of The Canadian Real Estate Association and more.
That’s it for now. Be sure to catch the follow-up to this post next week, which will cover the context rule and use of CREA’s trademarks on the Internet.
The article above is for information purposes and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel.