An application by a firm to trademark the term ‘PropTech’ is set to be withdrawn after being challenged through lawyers at the weekend.
The application had been made by Sam Zawadski through his start-up firm Property Technology. Last night, Zawadski said he will be withdrawing the application to trademark the ‘PropTech’ term.
His firm has an enquiry management tool called LeadPro, and claims to be signing between five and seven new agents a week.
Its premium product, an instant viewing booking tool called ViewPro, is still in development and will cost about £130 per month per office.
Zawadski’s move to trademark ‘PropTech’ caused ructions.
The UK PropTech Association invited him to withdraw the application, initially saying Zawadski failed to respond.
UKPA then said it had instructed a trademark lawyer and on Friday filed an objection to the application on behalf of its members.
Eddie Holmes, co-founder of UKPA, told EYE at that time: “The UKPA exists to promote collaboration between property firms and PropTech suppliers.
“That collaborative approach stems from the way PropTech firms have grown by working together. We felt it was important to protect this culture as much as the legal right of our members to use the term ‘PropTech’ to describe their companies and so have objected to this application.
“Although we invited them informally to do so before officially objecting, we hope that Property Technology will now simply withdraw their application and focus on building their business instead.”
UKPA lists a number of members on its website – including the RICS – but as at the weekend, Zawadski’s firm is not among them.
eMoov, however, is a member and founder Russell Quirk sent an angry email to Zawadski.
It said: “I understand that you’re attempting to trademark the term ‘PropTech’.
“This doesn’t sit well.
“The PropTech community is exactly that, a community. It’s a movement and a label that by its very definition is one of inclusion and collaboration.
“To attempt as an individual to ‘own it’ for commercial advantage over others is in poor spirit.
“I’ve taken our November 1st meeting out of the diary as I don’t think we will now find any synergies between our respective businesses.
“FYI, trust is also very high on my list where partnerships and co-working is concerned.”
Last night, however, the short but sharp ‘proptech war’ appeared to be over.
Zadawadski told us yesterday evening: “Property Technology Ltd SC528448 holds the trademark for ‘Property Technology’ and has applied for the trademark ‘PropTech’. Our software is used by 79 estate agent branches and has identified £1,628,922 in revenue opportunities for member agents in the last three months.
“Although our website is www.propertytechnology.co.uk clients often abbreviate our name to ‘PropTech’. Our trademark application was made in good faith to protect our right to trade under an abbreviated version of our LTD name.
“It was never our intention to preclude others from using the term PropTech or to create a monopoly right that would stop other people using what is unequivocally an industry term and a collective term for the property technology community, only to protect ourselves from competition as our patent pending technology ( GB1716452.6) is providing significant financial gains for estate agents and letting agents through out the UK.
“Thanks to assurances of support from the UK PropTech Association we will be withdrawing our trademark application for the term PropTech, and our focus will be on partnerships to commercialise our technology.
“We’re looking forward to joining the UK PropTech Association and working with other software companies to empower 21st century property professionals with our technology.”
Last night Holmes told EYE: “We are pleased that this issue had been informally resolved and we look forward to Property Technology Ltd joining the association. We are also pleased that they have agreed to contribute £500 to the legal costs we incurred by objecting to the application.”
More explanations are here: