In 2008, Beazer Homes received a registration for the mark SMARTDESIGN (for planning and laying out of residential communities; Construction of residential communities; housing services, namely, repair, improvement, and construction of residential real property in class 37). Also in 2008, Beazer Homes filed applications to register the marks ESMART HOMES and ESMART BY BEAZER HOMES (both for construction services, namely, planning, laying out and construction of residential homes in class 37).
On February 20, 2009, Pardee filed Oppositions with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) opposing registration of both of these marks. See Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company; Pardee Homes and Trendmaker Homes, Inc. v. Beazer Homes Holdings Corp., Opposition Nos. 91188948 and 91188950 (T.T.A.B. February 20, 2009). Then on February 24, 2009, Pardee initiated a cancellation of Beazer’s SMARTDESIGN mark. See Weyerhaeuser Real Estate Company; Pardee Homes and Trendmaker Homes, Inc. v. Beazer Homes Holdings Corp., Cancellation No. 92050587 (T.T.A.B. February 24, 2009).
According to the complaint, Pardee learned this month (June 2009) that Beazer, despite having notice of Pardee’s portfolio of SMART marks, recently adopted the marks SMART LIVING and BUY LOW . . . LIVE SMART, both of which Pardee alleges is confusingly similar to its LIVING SMART mark.
Pardee claims that Beazer is using the SMART LIVING mark in connection with the sale of homes on its website (apparently being used in connection with a Nashville, Tennessee community – although it appears to be used in more of a fair use, descriptive sense rather than as a mark).
Pardee also claims Beazer is using SMART LIVING as the title of a magazine to promote its homes. You can check out one recent issue for yourself here (2MB PDF).
Pardee’s causes of action are for registered trademark infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1114; federal unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); and common law unfair competition.
[Update: The Las Vegas Sun reported on Friday, June 12, 2009 (link here) that Beazer had apparently altered its ad campaign in response to the lawsuit, so that instead of "BUY LOW LIVE SMART" it now reads "BUY LOW . . .LIVE WELL." While its not clear if all of Pardee's claims have been addressed, the word around town is that the two sides have settled their dispute. I guess Pardee would say that Beazer made the "SMART" decision.