[thelist] Looking for Input

Suzanne Harmon suzanne at hharmon.com
Mon Apr 29 14:50:02 CDT 2002

Nearly 5 years ago, we developed a site for a real estate client. She
was working for a local Realty Executives office and was there for 4
years. She switched offices and went to work for another realty
franchise. As soon as she notified us of the change, we immediately
changed her site, the meta tags and started resubmitting the site to the
search engines.

This site was located in a subdirectory of one of our largest and
busiest domains. It appeared at the top of nearly every type of search
result made for this area. The site and the address were very
successful. However, after leaving Realty Executives, it still appeared
in the search results as a Realty Executives web site for quite some
time. We did everything we could to correct this problem, but it does
take time. But I guess the people at Realty Executives didn't think so.
They think this should be an overnight change in the search engines and
have sued us for copyright infringement on their trade mark.

A year ago, the agent relocated to another state and gave up the rights
to the url she was using. Since it was so successful, we offered it to
other real estate agents. The local Realty Executives agent discovered
we had leased it to someone else and approached them with threats of a
lawsuit. We lost that customer and decided to develop a site under that
address for us. Even though we have done everything we were supposed to
do as developers, Realty Executives International persued the law suit.
We have provided all evidence where we have not only complied with their
demands, but did so before they ever got invoved with their attorneys.

In the past week, the attorneys for Realty Executives have pretty much
conceeded that they may not be able to prove damages and that we have
complied with their demands. However, they are demanding that we pay
their expenses in excess of $20,000 for this action and of all things,
make sure that our site does not come up before any of their realty
sites in any search engine results.

We have spent countless hours working on resubmitting this site to
thousands of search engines trying to change the information returned in
the results so it does not reflect Realty Executives in any way. We have
done a pretty good job in our opinion.

Our question is; Has anybody else experienced anything like this? Is
there something else we might do besides pay money to the attorneys,
theirs and ours? Thanks in advance for your help.

Suzanne Harmon
suzanne at hharmon.com
Softouch Interactive

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