Century 21 Real Estate Corp. v. LendingTree, Inc.
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
425 F.3d 211 (2005)
Century 21, Coldwell Banker, and ERA (CCE) (plaintiffs) were real estate companies with thousands of franchisees. LendingTree, Inc. (LendingTree) (defendant) was an internet business that, among other things, referred consumers to local real estate brokers in its network. Approximately 250 CCE franchisees participated in LendingTree’s broker-referral network, but there was no affiliation between the CCE parent companies and LendingTree. In print materials, LendingTree said its referral network included “Coldwell Banker, Century 21 … and ERA.” Additionally, LendingTree’s website had a picture of a blue-and-white Coldwell Banker “For Sale” sign and used the plaintiffs’ logos and marks. The plaintiffs demanded that LendingTree stop using their marks, but LendingTree only stopped using the marks in some places. CCE sued LendingTree, seeking a preliminary injunction to stop LendingTree from using CCE’s marks. LendingTree then made more changes, including changing the colors of the “For Sale” sign on its website and adding a disclaimer that LendingTree was not affiliated with any of the participants in the broker-referral network. CCE did not present any evidence of actual consumer confusion to the court. The district court issued a preliminary injunction against LendingTree, finding that LendingTree’s use of the plaintiffs’ names was likely to confuse consumers and that LendingTree was not protected by the nominative-fair-use defense. LendingTree appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rendell, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 176,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.