LoopNet and dotloop are to appear in Los Angles court on Monday, July 22ed to settle their differences around the use of the word Loop. LoopNet has a registered trademark and claims that they are the sole user and owner of trademarks containing the term Loop. In the answer to the complaint, dotloop admits that the company was founded as MLS Contracts in 2008 and that its name was changed to dotloop in 2009. The company filed for a trademark registration for dotloop in September 2011, an action that LoopNet claims they opposed at that time.
Registered trademarks are managed by the Patent and Trademark Office. When a violation of any right of the registrant of a mark is recognized, the trademark owner has the opportunity to recover the defendants profits, any damages sustained by the markholder, and the costs of the action. DotLoop is a pretty young, privately held, venture funded growth company. I cannot imagine that there are significant profits that LoopNet could claim if they win this battle. Moreover, damages to LoopNet will need to be demonstrated to the court. Perhaps the only award of any substance in this case may be the recovery of legal fees and an injunction which bars dotloop from using the term Loop at all. Clearly that would be the most damaging impact to dotloop, a company which has invested heavily in marketing their brand.
I did a quick search for loop using the ever popular Google. I found a few other companies using the name loop in their brand including The Loop Magazine, Blue Loop, Flagstaff Loop Trail, Smart Loops and so forth. Lots of companies in Chicago play off the famous Chicago Loop. I have no clue how this case will turn out, or if LoopNet has tried to protect against the usage of Loop by other companies.