The CREA Board of Directors approved a series of changes to the rules governing the use of the REALTOR® trademarks at its meeting on August 25, 2015. The purpose of this initiative is to make the use of the marks easier, with a view to increasing proper use and reducing improper use. The changes to CREA’s Rules and Policies will make the use of the REALTOR® trademark simpler and easier to understand. The changes are also intended to reflect the reality of how CREA’s trademarks are used on the Internet.
- CREA’s previous rules required REALTOR® to be in all capital letters, followed by the ® registration mark. The new policy only requires that form for the first use in any publication. In all subsequent uses, the word can be spelled with only the ‘R’ capitalized, (i.e. Realtor) and omitting the ®.
- Up until this point, members have been required to add the trademark statement “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 choose one of five acceptable trademark ownership statements:
- 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 www.crea.ca/why to find out.
- REALTOR®. Member of The Canadian Real Estate Association and more.
- 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.
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited the use of modifiers with the REALTOR® term. The new policy allows it, provided that REALTOR® appears in all capital letters (e.g., Professional REALTOR®, Toronto REALTOR®).
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited REALTOR® or REALTORS® being used as part of a firm name (e.g., Smith REALTORS®). The new policy allows that use, provided the following 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.
- CREA’s previous rules were silent on the use of REALTOR® or REALTORS® in a team name (e.g., REALTOR® Team Smith Jones). The new policy permits such use, subject to the same three conditions set out above.
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited the use of REALTOR® or REALTORS® in corporate branding. The new policy permits such use (e.g., use of REALTOR® in slogans), but the prohibition on use of REALTOR® and REALTORS® in product names will remain.
- CREA’s previous rules prohibited use of our marks in metatags. The new policy permits such use for both REALTOR® and MLS®.
- CREA’s previous policy provided that members may only use REALTOR® or REALTORS® in a domain name in association with their name or firm name. The new policy allows members to add modifiers to REALTOR® in domain names, email addresses, and social media usernames that contain their name, firm name, or team name (e.g. JohnJonesTorontoRealtor.com, JanetheProfessionalRealtor.ca, SmithTeamRealtors@gmail.com, @BigBobRealtor).
In order to implement the new usage requirements, CREA has re-written its Trademark Policy. A copy of that policy is found in the Resources and Compliance section on CREA’s REALTOR Link® page.
The changes to the Trademark Policy became effective immediately upon approval by the Board of Directors in August. They are therefore in force now.