Express Homebuyers USA, LLC Wins Significant Court Decision Finding that the Trademarks for “We Buy Houses” and “Webuyhouses.com” are Generic and Should be Canceled
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 16, 2018—Express Homebuyers USA, a Virginia-based home buying company that purchases homes across the United States won a significant victory in its long-running and hard-fought campaign of proving the trademarks “We Buy Houses” and “Webuyhouses.com,” owned by Jeremy Brandt’s company WBH Marketing, Inc., are generic and should be canceled.
In a thorough and well-reasoned decision, Judge T.S. Ellis, III of the Eastern District of Virginia, the Judge hearing the Paul Manafort trial, concluded that the federal trademarks “We Buy Houses” and “Webuyhouses.com” are generic, are not protected under trademark law, and therefore should be canceled. The court found that the phrase “we buy houses” has been used in the real estate industry since as early as 1898 in millions of newspapers and advertisements. That evidence, coupled with other evidence and the testimony of Express Homebuyer’s Chairman Brad Chandler, was “overwhelming and unrefuted.”
Finding that the marks are generic and should be canceled was “logical” according to Judge Ellis because “allowing one member [of the real estate industry] to have exclusive use of the phrase ‘we buy houses’ would be the equivalent of allowing a professional football team to trademark ‘we play football’ or a fast-food chain to trademark ‘we sell burgers,’” which are phrases that should be available for all to use.
Home buying companies and property investors across the country should be rejoicing. The ruling is extremely significant because, if Mr. Brandt’s company prevailed, thousands of real estate investors across the country could have been prohibited from using the vitally important phrase “we buy houses” in their marketing and advertising materials.
Having concluded that the trademarks “We Buy Houses” and “Webuyhouses.com” were generic and should be canceled, Judge Ellis also dismissed WBH Marketing’s claim that Express Homebuyers infringed on the trademarks. Judge Ellis thus threw out WBH’s multi-million dollar damages claim against Express Homebuyers.
To read Judge Ellis’s ruling, please visit www.expresshomebuyers.com/we-buy-houses-trademark-cancelled.
Express Homebuyers’ CEO Brad Chandler was very pleased with the outcome. “This ruling,” said Mr. Chandler, “is not only a big win for us, but it’s a big win for the home-buying industry as a whole. We felt strongly from the very beginning that the law cannot prevent home buyers, both large and small, from saying exactly what it is that they do. That was the reason Express Homebuyers started its GoFundMe campaign to cancel these trademarks. And the opinion today loudly and clearly vindicates our position. Justice was served.”
Express Homebuyers is represented by Ugo Colella of Duane Morris LLP (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About Express Homebuyers
Founded by Brad Chandler and Jud Allen, Express Homebuyers has been a pioneer in hassle-free home buying since 2003. Express Homebuyers purchases homes from sellers who need a quick and easy sale at a fair price, without expensive broker fees or closing costs. Express Homebuyers has recently started buying homes in many markets across the U.S. Using a simple three-step process, Express Homebuyers has helped thousands of homeowners sell their homes quickly. Please direct all inquiries to Brad Chandler at Brad@ExpressHomebuyers.com.